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ʽWe are in good stead to reclaim our summer,’ Premier

An example of a QR bar code used in the SafeKey program (File photograph)

Cup Match could return this summer after the launch of a hi-tech programme to check people’s coronavirus vaccination and test status, the Premier said.

David Burt told the House of Assembly the SafeKey phone-readable code would prove the holder had been fully immunised or had had a recent clear coronavirus test.

The annual sports event was cancelled last year for the first time in its history because of the coronavirus threat.

Mr Burt added that, although SafeKey was piloted last weekend with a view to extending it to activities like indoor dining at restaurants, the “long term view was to have a simple way to verify that individuals would minimise coronavirus risk in large group settings”.

SafeKey will be used next week for the audience at the Bermuda Day event at the National Sports Centre in Devonshire and at the half marathon.

Mr Burt said the plan was to use the technology to help the the comeback of events such as Cup Match.

He added: “We are in good stead to make sure that we reclaim our summer.”

Mr Burt assured the public that the open source QR - quick response - code used with SafeKey “cannot be forged”.

He said it was designed free of charge over the past few months by Dennis Pitcher, separate from his contract with the Government as a fintech adviser.

Mr Burt added the cost to the taxpayer had been “minimal”.

MPs heard the QR will be specific to individuals, holding information issued from the Government’s database, and cannot be used by anyone else.

The barcode can be printed off to be scanned or stored on a phone.

Mr Burt added: “SafeKey is flexible, and due to the fact it can be read on any mobile phone it can be used at personal events.”

He added that SafeKey status could be checked easily at www.verify.gov.bm using a phone camera.

Mr Burt said the encrypted information was not under the control of the Government and the code’s pattern contained only the individual’s initials, their day and month of birth and the code’s expiry date.

He added: “This initiative is part of the Government’s effort to allow for more activities and businesses to open safely with reduced risk of coronavirus exposure as we continue our work to eliminate local transmission.”

Clear coronavirus test results have been sent out with SafeKey codes since Thursday.

Mr Burt said the programme would be part of the island’s reopening, with a “new luxury hotel opening this weekend” and a return to activities such as indoor dining in restaurants and church services.

He added: “A SafeKey QR code is valid for three days for a negative test result, and until June 15 for fully immunised persons during the initial roll-out phase.

“As this is a new programme, these expiry periods may be adjusted while we learn how to best apply them.”

⋅ To read Mr Burt’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.

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Published May 21, 2021 at 2:49 pm (Updated May 22, 2021 at 8:07 am)

ʽWe are in good stead to reclaim our summer,’ Premier

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