If You're Unvaccinated, You May Lose Money on This
Some new vaccination policies are stricter than others, and this one could cost you.
It might cost you to be unvaccinated—and we mean that literally. While some restaurants and events are now requiring proof of vaccination, other businesses are attempting to incentivize shots by putting pressure on people's wallets. Unvaccinated individuals are being hit with more fees from universities and cruise lines, and some employers are considering making these people pay more for health insurance, too. But that's not the only way you might lose money if you're unvaccinated.
Fans wanting to attend a New Orleans Saints home game this year must be vaccinated or provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours. On Aug. 12, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced a new vaccine or negative testing requirement for certain indoor venues in the city, including Caesar's Superdome, where the Saints play.
Unvaccinated season ticket holders for the Saints who refuse to show a negative COVID test will not get a refund for their tickets. These fans also do not have an option to opt out of the season.
"We've received all necessary local and state approvals to host a full stadium of fans and with that in mind, we are not offering a refund or opt out option this season," Saints Vice President Greg Bensel told WDSU. "We remain optimistic that, with our community's help and as vaccination rates increase, these restrictions will no longer be necessary as the season progresses. However, if you don't plan on attending games this season, we'd recommend that you resell your individual game tickets on SeatGeek, which has a strong secondary market for Saints tickets."
The Saints aren't the only ones implementing or considering similar policies. With new vaccination requirements coming into play across the country, unvaccinated individuals risk losing money at a number of venues due to stringent refund policies.
In Alabama, unvaccinated individuals planning to attend the Furnace Fest in September will now be required to provide proof of a negative COVID test with 72 hours of the music festival. But festival officials have made no plans to revise the refund policy, which states that "all sales are final, with no refunds or exchanges."
This policy is likely to apply to concerts across the country. Live Nation, one of the largest live entertainment companies, recently announced that it is requiring proof of vaccination or negative tests within 48 hours at certain events. One concertgoer told WTTV that despite purchasing his concert tickets prior to the policy change, he has been denied a refund twice by the company. Live Nation's refund policy states, "All sales are final and refunds are only allowed in limited circumstances (for instance, when an event is canceled—or where an event is postponed, rescheduled, or moved, and the Event Organizer has approved refunds for that event)."
In other cases, ticket holders might be able to get refunds, but only for a limited time. For Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, people who refuse to get vaccinated were offered a three-day window from Aug. 13 to Aug. 16 for refunds. And for events hosted by entertainment company AEG, ticket holders may only be eligible for limited refund options after its vaccination requirement is finalized on Oct. 1.
"We won't get to have nice things like normal concerts without masks unless everyone gets vaccinated," AEG said in a statement. "However, if you would prefer to miss the show, we will have an update on limited refund availability, guided by local regulations, closer to Oct. 1."