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Covid safe key pilot could allow hosting of events

People line up to be covid tested at the Penno’s Wharf in St George’s (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Government intends to launch a “Covid safe key” programme to open up opportunities for those who have been vaccinated or recently tested negative for Covid-19.

A Government spokeswoman confirmed tonight that a pilot programme had been launched, and that more details will be released this week.

The spokeswoman said: “The Bermuda Government’s aim remains the same as outlined in the Premier’s National Address – to boost Bermuda’s border protections to protect the island from dangerous variants while working to eliminate local transmission so that all local restrictions can be lifted.

“However, while we still have local transmission of the Coronavirus, there is a need to allow many workers who are still impacted by restrictions to be able to return back to work and to enable business activity to resume safely.

“The Bermuda Government can confirm that a pilot is under way to test technology that will allow for the safe hosting of a variety of indoor activities and large outdoor events that are a staple of Bermuda’s annual calendar.”

The spokeswoman said some highlights of the pilot programme were “prematurely leaked” last week.

She added: “It's anticipated that a full overview of the programme, which allows vaccinated and non-vaccinated residents to participate, will be shared during this week’s Covid-19 media briefing.”

An apparent draft of a statement, distributed on social media last week, described the introduction of a “Covid Safe Key” which would provide “a secure option for allowing activities such as indoor dining, indoor bars and clubs, and music festivals to take place”.

The document said keys would be issued with an expiration date, with keys issued after a negative Covid-19 test lasting for three days and keys issued after a Covid-19 vaccine remaining valid for “at least” six months.

The draft statement added: “This is not a vaccine passport, as you do not need to get a vaccine in order to have access.”

The draft statement added that a pilot programme would be followed by a wider roll-out, with details about how local businesses can be involved to be released at a later date.

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Published May 17, 2021 at 8:06 am (Updated May 17, 2021 at 8:06 am)

Covid safe key pilot could allow hosting of events

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