New York is rolling out the nation’s first vaccine passports.

Governor Andrew Cuomo formally announced the app’s launch this afternoon.

New Yorkers will be able to document their COVID-19 vaccinations or negative tests using a code on their cellphone.

The certification, called the "Excelsior Passport”, is the first of its kind in the nation.

Cuomo says the app will help fast-track the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with State Department of Health guidelines.

"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 passport, developed by IBM, can be used at theaters, major arenas and wedding receptions.

Major venues have already announced they'll begin utilizing the technology in the coming weeks, including Madison Square Garden in New York City beginning next week and the Times Union Center in Albany.

Beginning April 2, Excelsior Pass will expand to smaller arts, entertainment and event venues.

Interested New Yorkers can opt in to use Excelsior Pass and learn more here.

The initiative was first announced in the Governor's 2021 State of the State Address.

READ MORE: 10 free apps to help you get fit in our new normal

 

KEEP READING: See states hit hardest by COVID-19’s impact on tourism

 

READ MORE: See how some companies are changing their businesses to combat COVID-19