New Yorkers who attend a sporting event or wedding this summer may use a newly developed "Excelsior Pass" that can provide verification for a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result. 

Participation in the pass, developed with IBM, is free and voluntary, Cuomo's office said. 

The platform is similar to an airline boarding pass, allowing people to either print out or store it on their smartphones using an app. The pass will have a secure QR code, and businesses and venues can scan them for proof of vaccination or a negative test result. 

Still, the set-up could raise privacy questions as the economy begins to reopen with limited public gatherings in New York in places like sports stadiums and arenas. 

Cuomo this year has announced a series of reopenings with spectators in attendance at baseball and basketball games.

"New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidance to beat back COVID, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure," Cuomo said. 

"The question of 'public health or the economy' has always been a false choice — the answer must be both. As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass heralds the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening."