Considering vaccine passports? The BBB has tips for business owners

Plus one arts venue evaluates this new COVID rule during reopening week.
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 9:16 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 10:25 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau has tips for business owners who are looking to require proof of vaccination from customers.

“Whatever you do, it’s going to be a plan of your own, and we do encourage you to talk to your legal counsel so that you don’t violate any rights,” Tiffany Schultz, BBB Southwest Wisconsin regional director, said.

Schultz said to communicate the new policies through signs at the store or digital reminders on social media. She added, “Train your employees how to communicate the plan and how to deal with potentially violent customers over it. It is something new.”

With more cases of fake vaccine cards around the nation, the BBB also advises employees to know the signs of authentic vaccine cards. The group said to make sure the vaccination dates align with when the vaccines were approved by the CDC. Additionally, for two-dose vaccines, the dates on the cards should be separated by a few weeks and written in different handwriting.

The Overture Center, which reopened its doors to the public this week, is requiring proof of vaccination. After about 18 months of closure, the arts hall will also require masks. Guests who are not vaccinated must show a negative COVID-19 test.

Emily Gruenewald, chief development and communications officer, said the Overture tested its COVID plan on roughly 200 guests on Saturday. She said staff checked for proper vaccine forms at security checkpoints.

“In the beginning, I think, on both ends, it feels a little uncomfortable, maybe a little messy,” she said. “I think that we will see that it’s just another piece of something that you do when you’re lining up for indoor events.”

Gruenewald said the venue has alternative options for customers who don’t comply, including a “very lenient refund policy.”

She added, Overture staff have also discussed the possibility of fake vaccination cards. She said, “That’s why we decided that we would ask for photo ID as well. [It’s] to hopefully deter anyone from trying to share a fake card.”

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