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OpenTable inks deal to preverify COVID-19 vaccinations for reservations at US restaurants, wineries, other venues

After it earlier this month added information about vaccination requirements at a given venue, OpenTable, among the world’s largest online reservation services providers, on Monday said it now is offering a way for restaurants, wineries and other venues to check whether patrons are fully up on their shots before they arrive.

Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: BKNG), the service announced a partnership with New York-based Clear, a newly public company (NYSE: YOU) that aims to bring together people’s identifications, boarding passes and other tickets, and recently health information such as COVID-19 vaccination and testing status, into a centrally accessible system via Clear’s app or venue kiosks.

Clear has inked relationships with the Transportation Security Administration to streamline checkpoint clearance and recently with New York City to allow businesses to check vaccine records. Other cities such as Los Angeles and now San Francisco have joined in requiring proof of vaccination as coronavirus cases surge this summer with the delta variant.

OpenTable said aims to make this link with Clear’s security system work simply. On making a reservation on OpenTable’s app, a patron will see a banner for Clear on the confirmation page. That will direct the party to Clear’s information page about what will be required for vaccination verification, at which point the person has the option of signing up for Clear’s “digital vaccine card.”

To get that card, a patron has to create a Clear account, upload a selfie photo and a picture of identification, upload a photo of the vaccination card or select from a list of participating vaccination providers or governments.

"For the last 18 months, we've focused all of our energy on building innovative features that make it easier to Dine On, safely,“ said Debby Soo, CEO of OpenTable in the announcement. ”This collaboration aims to streamline restaurant entry, saving time for both restaurant staff and diners and lets everyone focus on the meal — not the logistics."

OpenTable said its software handles reservations for over 1 billion people annually at more than 60,000 restaurants, bars, wineries and other venues.

Clear claims to have more than 5 million users of its system and be in use at over 100 locations, including international airport terminals in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and Seattle.

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