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Minister tells cricket clubs SafeKey will not be required

SafeKey decision: Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport Ernest Peets (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Players and spectators will be no longer asked to meet Covid-19 SafeKey requirements at cricket matches, The Royal Gazette has learnt.

Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, is understood to have made the sensational announcement during an emergency Bermuda Cricket Board meeting last night, according to three sources.

The meeting was required after it was discovered that a large percentage of the players in the opening round of matches last weekend did not adhere to SafeKey protocol — either by not showing proof of immunisation or by presenting a negative PCR within 72 hours before play.

This was when gatherings of 100 persons or more were mandatory SafeKey events. That number has been since reduced to 50 after it was revealed by David Burt, the Premier, that the Delta variant of Covid-19 — which has wreaked havoc in the United States and Britain — was increasing in Bermuda.

The government website was updated yesterday to reflect the change from 100 to 50 in the large gatherings exemption for cricket, but, notably, the clause remains that all attendees must have a SafeKey.

It is also understood from the Zoom meeting that the sports minister announced that the maximum amount of persons permitted to attend matches will be 250, which includes players and spectators, and that clubs will not be permitted to have indoor bars at their facilities.

Arnold Manders, the BCB president, said he could not comment on specific details of the meeting until the sports minister gives a final decision today on recommendations made during the meeting.

“The minister came on and everybody asked a question about SafeKey, and he took everybody’s questions and answered what he could,” was all that Manders was prepared to say. “He said he is going to make up a document and send it to the Bermuda Cricket Board tomorrow with his decision.

“They raised concerns about SafeKey and other things, and he took their recommendations and said he will reply to us tomorrow.

“It was a good meeting; everybody voiced their opinions and he listened.

Before Dr Peets’s announcement last night, the use of SafeKey was required for all attendees at venues where there were gatherings of 101 persons or more. Contact-tracing details also had to be provided by all attendees, including full name, date and time of visit, phone and e-mail information in the event of a positive case in attendance.

Maximum attendances of up to 500 were set for league cricket games.

The start of the cricket season was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Published July 02, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated July 03, 2021 at 8:14 am)

Minister tells cricket clubs SafeKey will not be required

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