SafeKey Guidance

Note: as of June 20th 2021 Bermuda moved into Phase 4 and there is no curfew.

If your vaccine-based SafeKey has expired, click here to renew it.

 

Purpose

To mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infections and outbreaks during the pandemic and allow residents and visitors access to activities and services identified as high risk for spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

SafeKey is also part of an effort to upgrade our negative test and vaccination certificates to make sure no one can fake your documents. The certificates contain information necessary to verify the results of your negative test or vaccination.

Who does this guidance apply to?

This guidance applies to all Bermuda residents, visitors, businesses and organizations that provide or participate in COVID-19 SafeKey activities and services. -  (see below for the definition of the relevant activities and services).

Definitions

COVID-19

  • An infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

SafeKey

  • The SafeKey is an official document and digital verification issued for access to high risk activities or services that have been restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SafeKey Activities and Services

  • Businesses are welcome to consider using SafeKey at their establishments for activities or services that have been considered high risk for transmission of COVID-19. Such activities or services include, for example:
    1. Indoor or outdoor events or services where participant numbers exceed the restrictions established in COVID-19 Regulations
    2. Indoor bars and clubs
    3. Indoor dining
    4. Services where masks need to be removed – e.g. facial services offered by spas or barbers
    5. Indoor high intensity or aerobic gym classes without a mask

*Please note that the use of SafeKey is not mandatory unless it is required in association with a specific event approval.

Vaccination Certificate 

  • An official document confirming whether individuals have received the recommended doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

An approved COVID-19 vaccination

  • Any COVID-19 vaccine that is listed in the Quarantine (COVID-19) (NO. 3) Order 2020.

​​​Isolation

  • This involves separating persons who have COVID-19 from persons who do not. Persons in isolation should not be issued a COVID-19 SafeKey.

Quarantine

  • This involves separating those persons who may have been exposed to COVID-19, whether through recent travel or local exposure, from those who have not. Persons in quarantine should not be issued a COVID-19 SafeKey.

'One step ahead' 

  • This term is used to describe the provision of a COVID-19 SafeKey activity or service by a business or organization where the activity or service is restricted by current COVID-19 Regulations but allowed with the use of the COVID-19 SafeKey Programme. 

COVID-19 Regulations

  • These include any and all Regulations and subsequent amendments to Regulations found on gov.bm/coronavirus-regulations, for the purpose of providing guidance or restricting activity during the COVID-19 pandemic – e.g. Public Health Act 1949 and the Public Health (COVID-19 Emergency Powers) (Phased Re-Opening) Regulations 2021.

Authority

  • The Public Health Act 1949 and all subsequent amendments to the Public Health (Covid-19 Emergency Powers) (Phased Re-Opening) Regulations 2021 and the Public Health (COVID-19) Regulations 2020
  • The Quarantine Act 2017 and all subsequent amendments to the Quarantine (COVID-19) (NO. 3) Order 2020

Key SafeKey Points

  • The COVID-19 SafeKey Programme allows businesses and other organizations to offer access to high risk services and activities only when residents or visitors present official documentation and/or digital verification for SafeKey at the time of the service or activity.
  • The Ministry of Health will continue to update the gov.bm website to include information about the COVID-19 SafeKey Programme and the high risk activities and services that will require a COVID-19 SafeKey.
  • A COVID-19 SafeKey is valid only when presented together with a matching identification document such as an identity card, passport, or driver's license.
  • Businesses and organizations that are required to participate or voluntarily participate in the COVID-19 SafeKey Programme will provide access to high risk services and activities for customers and service users according to this COVID-19 SafeKey Guidance.
  • Businesses and organizations may use the COVID-19 SafeKey Programme for activities or services identified as one step ahead of the current Public Health (COVID-19 Emergency Powers) (Phased Re-Opening) Regulations 2021. However, participation in the COVID-19 SafeKey Programme is not required when the business or organization continues to follow the minimum requirements set out in COVID-19 Regulations. For example: In phase 2, restaurants were allowed to provide outdoor dining without participating in the COVID-19 SafeKey Programme (minimum requirement) but a one step ahead service for indoor dining required SafeKey.
  • Customers and service users will follow this COVID-19 SafeKey Guidance and ensure that they have a valid COVID-19 SafeKey that matches their identification in order to access COVID-19 SafeKey activities or services.

Who is eligible for a COVID-19 SafeKey?

ELIGIBLE:

  • An individual who has received the complete recommended single dose or two dose course of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, plus 2 weeks
  • An individual that is 2 years old or older with a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours

INELIGIBLE:

  • An individual who has travelled in the last 14 days that has not received the complete recommended course of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, plus 2 weeks
  • An individual that has recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection and doesn’t meet criteria required for issuance, as stated above
  • An individual who is in isolation or quarantine

Immunised Residents

All residents who are fully immunized can access their vaccine-based Safekeys online at www.gov.bm/vaccine-certificate

Vaccine-based Safekeys are valid for a month. Renewing expired vaccine-based Safekeys can be done by any Safekey holder by going to www.gov.bm/vaccine-certificate and entering your details to generate your next Safekey.

Residents that have had vaccine doses overseas can request a certificate and Safekey by sending an email to vaccine@gov.bm and by providing their most recent travel (TA # or name used for travel). The vaccine certificates team will be able to look up their immunisation documentation used for travel to then create and issue a certificate and Safekey to them by email.

Unimmunised Residents

Unimmunised residents can access test-based Safekeys by getting tested for COVID-19 at a government testing location (see locations and times available at https://www.gov.bm/coronavirus-get-tested ). A link to the Safekey document will be included in the negative test result email. Test-based Safekeys are valid for 72 hours (3 days after the test day).

Note- residents who get tested through a private lab may not have access to Safekey, depending on where test results are processed. If you plan to get tested through a private lab because you require a SafeKey, check with the lab first if the results include a Safekey.

Travellers

Travellers entering Bermuda (residents and visitors) will have test-based Safekey links included with their negative test result email. Safekeys on each test will expire on the traveller’s next scheduled test day.

Unimmunised travelers with a scheduled day 14 test will have a their final test-based Safekey issued with the negative test result. It will be valid for 3 days.

Immunised travelers with a scheduled day 10 test will have a their final test-based Safekey issued with the negative test result. It will be valid for 20 days.

Further SafeKey Guidance 

  • Businesses and organizations that use SafeKey must display COVID-19 SafeKey signage in a visible location like a store window and on their website so that their customers and service users can see what services or activities require a valid COVID-19 SafeKey.
  • The COVID-19 SafeKey is an official document and digital verification that will be issued automatically for individuals that have completed a full course of an approved COVID-19 vaccine or receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
  • The COVID-19 SafeKey has a QR code that can be scanned with almost any electronic device with a camera connected to either a data plan or an internet service. The QR code can only be read when you go to verify.gov.bm. The QR code provides one's initials and the month and day of their date of birth. This is just enough information for businesses and organizations to check that the COVID-19 SafeKey is valid and matches the details on one's photo identification.
  • Individuals who have not completed a full course of an approved COVID-19 vaccine will only be issued a SafeKey if they have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. - (book a COVID-19 PCR test appointment at gov.bm/coronavirus-get-tested).
  • Individuals must ensure that they enter the correct information in the resQwest system. The name on their photo identification must match the vaccine card/certificate and/or their recent negative COVID-19 test result.
  • Individuals using a local laboratory service, rather than one of the Government's test sites, should check to ensure that their test results are shared with the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory.
  • The COVID-19 SafeKey verification process requires that the individuals accessing a COVID-19 SafeKey activity or service present a photo identification that matches their valid COVID-19 SafeKey.
  • Your identification will be checked in order to gain entry to a COVID-19 SafeKey activity or service but personal information should not be kept or stored by any business or organization except for the purposes of contact tracing. See guidance for contact tracing responsibilities of businesses and organizations at gov.bm/guidance-indoor-and-outdoor-dining.
  • If you have recently travelled and have not received an approved course of a COVID-19 vaccine, or individuals that are on isolation or quarantine, you should not attend any activities or services and should stay home and away from others.

Do children require a separate SafeKey?

Children over two-years old do require their own SafeKey, which can be obtained through receipt of a negative coronavirus test result or via vaccination, if eligible (at least 12 years of age).

Children under the age of 2 years are permitted access to COVID-19 SafeKey services and activities when accompanied by a parent or guardian with a valid COVID-19 SafeKey.

It is recommended that parents or guardians have identification, such as a birth certificate, for children under 2 years of age that will gain access to activities or services under their COVID-19 SafeKey.

Can the SafeKey be used outside of Bermuda?

No. The SafeKey is only valid within Bermuda.

How long is the SafeKey valid?

The SafeKey will be extended monthly for one month until the system can accommodate a long term date.

What about my privacy?

The COVID-19 SafeKey Programme will be conducted in accordance with best practices for privacy and protection of personal information. The COVID-19 SafeKey leverages the paper-first verifiable credentials protocol designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s PathCheck foundation.  It specifies a decentralized, secure, interoperable and privacy preserving approach to digitally verifying certificates and credentials.

Your identification will be checked in order to gain entry to a COVID-19 SafeKey activity or service but personal information should not be kept or stored by any business or organization except for the purposes of contact tracing. 

Your SafeKey will not contain information regarding your current Covid-19 status, whether you have taken a test or if you are fully immunised, in order to protect your privacy.

If you lose your SafeKey it cannot be duplicated or used by someone else.

How is the SafeKey enforced?

Enforcement officers will continue to monitor compliance with COVID-19 Regulations, inclusive of the COVID-19 SafeKey Programme.

Failure to abide by the COVID-19 SafeKey Programme when an activity or service requires it under the COVID-19 Regulations may result in legal action including disqualification from the SafeKey Programme, closure or a fine.

Is there a cost to use SafeKey?

There is no cost to use SafeKey.

When will I receive my SafeKey?

Persons will receive their SafeKeys (and vaccine certificates) 14 days after their 2nd dose, as this is when you are deemed fully immunised. 

Persons who have received 2 doses more than 14 days ago and have not received a SafeKey email should email a copy of their government photo ID and vaccine card to vaccine@gov.bm. The vaccine certificates team will then review their client record and issue their certificate and safekey.

I am a local app developer, how can I develop applications using the SafeKey?

The QR codes that now appear on Bermuda’s vaccination certificates, test results, and SafeKey are developed according to the MIT Path Check Foundation’s Paper Verifiable Credential Standard. This programme is built on open source technology, meaning any local company or local application developer can write programmes to leverage the SafeKey. The specs for developing applications can be found here:

Pathcheck Spec

Verify.gov.bm

Using the SafeKey - Individuals

  • Once an individual's COVID-19 SafeKey has been issued they can print the documentation or carry their digital pass with them on a portable electronic device (phone, tablet, etc.) in order to gain access to COVID-19 SafeKey activities and services.
  • It is recommended that individuals check to make sure their pass is valid prior to attending a COVID-19 SafeKey activity or service by scanning the QR code on their SafeKey at verify.gov.bm/. Access to an internet service or data plan is required for this check.
  • When making plans to participate in a COVID-19 SafeKey activity or service check with the business or organization beforehand to ensure that they have all the information required. There may be additional steps to follow in order for the business or organization to accommodate individuals and avoid long queues and some events will require pre-registration.
  • Individuals must present their COVID-19 SafeKey and identification information to the business or organization upon entry and/or prior to receiving or engaging in a COVID-19 SafeKey activity or service.
  • The COVID-19 SafeKey is valid for 3 days from the date that your negative COVID-19 PCR test is performed or 3 months from the date your vaccination certificate is issued or the expiry date listed on the vaccine certificate for those certificates issued prior to the COVID-19 SafeKey Programme. Vaccine certificates will continue to be automatically renewed as determined by the available scientific evidence for their duration of protection.
  • Persons can contact the COVID-19 Helpline at coronavirus@gov.bm or (441) 444-2498 with any queries regarding their COVID-19 SafeKey and technical problems.

Using the SafeKey - Businesses

  • Businesses and organizations participating in COVID-19 SafeKey activities and services will provide information to customers and service users about the activities and services that require a COVID-19 SafeKey. It is recommended that this information is placed in a visible location such as a store window and/or website in order to assist with compliance.
  • You will need to have a portable electronic device such as a smart phone or tablet with a camera that is capable of scanning the QR code on the COVID-19 SafeKey. Access to an internet service or a data plan is required for scanning the QR code using verify.gov.bm/ or any compatible QR code scan system.
  • When a customer or service user arrives at your business or organization you must scan their COVID-19 SafeKey and check that their identification matches the information on the SafeKey. The QR code will provide their initials, the month and day of their date of birth, a green check if the SafeKey is valid and an expiry date.
  • Failure to abide by the COVID-19 SafeKey Programme when an activity or service requires it under the COVID-19 Regulations may result in legal action including disqualification from the SafeKey Programme, closure or a fine.
  • Do not store or record any personal information that is shared during the COVID-19 SafeKey verification process with the exception of guidance provided in support of contact tracing efforts.
  • Once the COVID-19 SafeKey is verified you may proceed with the activity or service.

Click here to return to the COVID-19 homepage.

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