NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Health is preparing to launch its digital COIVD-19 vaccination health card next week that will allow people to show proof of their vaccination status on their phones.

A digital health card is not mandatory, Gov. Ned Lamont said. It will be up to restaurants, stores, and other public places to decide if they want to require people to show their status.

The stage was set at the Garde Arts Center Thursday as the venue welcomed more than 800 people for a Gordon Lightfoot concert. Masks are mandatory along with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

“It’s extremely safe here, and they’ll also know that their neighbor is like-minded,” Steve Sigel, executive director at the Garde Arts Center, said.

If someone forgets their vaccination card, the theater also provides information for a link to CT WiZ on the state Department of Public Health’s website.

“Up until this point, it’s just been a PDF, which shows your vaccination record. Now that PDF includes a QR code,” Josh Geballe, Connecticut’s chief operating officer, said. “That will enable you to pop into your digital wallet on your phone a little card, which just shows you’ve been vaccinated, and it’s been issued by the Department of Public Health.”

The state is using the same department of health site to launch its digital health card on Monday, Dec. 20. Instead of a paper vaccination card, people can have a digital one by scanning the QR code with their phone.

Just like the paper vaccination card, the digital one will still need to be matched up to a government-issued ID to prove you are the person who is vaccinated.

Friday morning at the state capitol in Hartford, Republican leaders spoke out against the plan, citing privacy concerns and the lack of information about the policy behind the digital pass.

“When we get into the realm of essential services. If you’re going to take your 11-year-old to the grocery store, you’re going to have to find a babysitter no,” House Minority Leader Vin Candelora (R-Branford) said.

“I’m not requiring anything,” Lamont said. “I’m not mandating anything. I’m giving stores and restaurants one more tool they need to make their employees and their customers feel safe.”

State officials said this digital health card is more convenient and travels well.

“The pass in the QR code is based on a national standard so that it will work with scanners down in New York,” Geballe said.

It is also expected to work with half a dozen other states planning to go online, like Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There could also be global recognition for systems in Canada and Japan.