Govt Announce: Expand The Use Of SafeKey

August 18, 2021

“SafeKey will now be required for indoor public spaces where masks are permitted to be removed, namely; indoor dining, bars, clubs, and sports/members clubs as well as attending a gym/fitness facility,” the Government announced this evening.

This evening the Minister of Health, Kim Wilson said, “The scale of this outbreak is such that we must make some adjustments to the Public Health Regulations and protocols. We cannot ignore the fact that we now have 113 active cases. However, this is not 2020 and the progress we have made in vaccinating 75% of our eligible population means that we can adjust but not interrupt our everyday lives and continue to safely enjoy this summer.

“When we step back and examine where we are now, more than four weeks after the first Eastern County Game and almost three weeks after the Cup Match Holiday weekend, not one positive case or cluster has yet been identified as associated with large events that used SafeKey.

“In fact, outbreaks like the one we are currently experiencing can be prevented if persons follow the rules that are in place to keep us safe. As I stated at last week’s press conference, we expect that persons will appear before the courts in the near future for violations of the rules. The change to the Public Health Regulations we are announcing this evening will expand the use of SafeKey and will come into effect at 6:00 pm on Friday 20 August 2021.

“Safe Key will now be required for indoor public spaces where masks are permitted to be removed, namely; indoor dining, bars, clubs, and sports/members clubs as well as attending a gym/fitness facility. SafeKey will also be required to board all Island Boats with more than 20 passengers. Finally, SafeKey will be required for the granting of all new large group exemptions.

safekey bermuda aug 18 2021

“What we are doing now is designed not only to continue to protect the vulnerable and prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed, which remains our overall goal but to also protect our students’ return to school.

“While there is not a risk to the hospital being overwhelmed at this time, we must continue to abide by the basic and effective actions that help to protect us, protect others and reduce the spread of the coronavirus. This means remembering to wash and sanitise our hands, wearing our masks, especially in groups where we are unsure of the vaccination status of others, and physical distancing.

“Events, where the Public Health Guidelines are followed, are so far proving to be safe. Large events where attendees are confirmed as fully vaccinated or have tested negative within 72 hours of the event and therefore are in possession of a SafeKey are also proving to be safe thus far.

“We remain in a global pandemic. We have an outbreak to manage locally and settings in which masks are permitted to be removed are the greatest risk for spreading of the virus. We must further mitigate that risk. Implementing the use of SafeKey in these settings is the best available tool for us to adjust but not interrupt our lives, our economy, and all of the activities which we have safely enjoyed this summer, unlike last year.”

According to the official Government website, those eligible for a SafeKey include “an individual who has received the complete recommended single dose or two dose course of an approved Covid-19 vaccine, plus 2 weeks” and “an individual that is 2 years old or older with a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours.”

The follows after the Government announced 52 new cases yesterday, bringing the island’s tally of active cases up to 113, the highest since May. There have been 147 new cases announced so far this month, which is around double the amount of cases that were announced in the previous two months — June and July — combined.

calendar gif as of aug 17 covid bernews

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You can find more information on the links below and also on our dedicated website, which is the most comprehensive resource and historic record available of Bermuda’s handling of the pandemic.

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Comments (56)

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  1. John says:

    How is it an outbreak when your doing 12k plus test results smh.

  2. John says:

    How on earth does this work with schools????

    • pink buoy says:

      It is for public spaces, so not sure if schools fall under that. They haven’t been very specific. Yet clubs are included, andcubs are generally private, so I’m lost.

  3. Tyrone says:

    Shame on you Government of Bermuda. You have divided this country and made a decision between vaccinated and un-vaccinated. So heartbreaking to see your draconian measures taken against the citizens of Bermuda. I as a Bermudian do not want to live under this rule no longer.

    • BYE says:

      go then. I am just as pissed off at the IDIOTS that have caused the SPREAD because they can’t follow a rule and feel they can just ignore us that do

      • wow says:

        So your pissed at the VACCINATED, as they have been the ones that can come to Bermuda get off of a plane and go home. UNVACCINATED had to go Jail for 14 days to be clear. So its obvious who cause the SPREAD!. lol

        • get a life says:

          you do live in a dream dont you wow. i think you should read whom the govt knows that has broken the law and it aint the vaccinated

        • look at the stats says:

          dont know but out of the 21 imported 18 were locals get over that one

        • iyiyi says:

          It certainly does seem according to the CDC that there is little difference in the spread between the vax and unvax regardless whether or not the new strains are because of the unvax.
          This government has been far from consistent in sooo many ways including Covid along with the basic cost of living is causing many of us Bermudians who are not and/or rich and love this country to look at other options especially near retirement age .
          I personally don’t believe that the current government or the opposition can deal with our current position both economically or socially .
          I hope and pray i am wrong !!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      ” I as a Bermudian do not want to live under this rule no longer.”

      *waives goodbye*

  4. Seriously! says:

    So shall the government provide someone to sit at the entrance of gyms, sports clubs, restaurants, bars…….. to enforce.

    This is an expensive requirement for organizations who have been hardest hit and closed over and over.

    Some of these places are struggling to remain open after the losses incurred during COVID closures and now this expense. They have to have someone to monitor clients/guests abs that costs money.

    Maybe who is making all of this money off safekey can subsidize!!!!

    • Loquat tree says:

      No equipment just a cellphone needed. They had SafeKey before if you remember-only for a few days, but places dealt with it fine. Not much more time than asking for name and contact info. which has been in place for months.

  5. becareful of the truth says:

    Are we sure that all persons serving us, who are vaxed, are vaxed as well.
    Glad I live in Bermie and not New Zealand as their Premier closed her Country for one person having tested positive.
    For all you disgruntled persons be glad you live where you can still go about your daily life.
    Let’s just try get along with the positive attitude that we are known for and follow the rules. It’s for our own benefit and good.
    It seems the world is leaning toward safe key events as a way for now and Bermie is not going to be left out.

    • A joke says:

      Okay, so you’re glad we live here where now the industries that have been most impacted and have been given either no help, or the most bare minimum (if you can even call it that, more like less than the minimum but they can say they gave something, even if it may as well been nothing) are yet again impacted without the Government offering any sort of help?

      Great, every business now needs to hire at minimum 1 full-time employee, maybe 2 depending on hours, who will be required to deal with disgruntled people that will unfortunately take out their frustrations on those who deserve it the least.

      Who would want that sort of employment if they had any other option?

      And obviously, what businesses in these industries can afford to hire 1-2 full time staff after nearly 2 years of being shut down or exceptionally hindered? The answer is none, as most are scrapping by currently, and yet again the Government imposed restrictions without any consideration or thought being given.

      In the US and other countries small businesses could apply for money to assist with their costs during the times when they were forcibly hindered or closed, yet in Bermuda most of these ‘grants’ don’t seem to be ready to be applied for yet. Further, even once they are available, who trusts that the money will appear in the timeframe needed after the terrible show they put on with unemployment?

      Go ahead and praise our Government for doing ‘better’ than select other countries. At the same time we may as well be praising them for not rounding up every 12+ female to become sex slaves like the Taliban are doing, because apparently our logic is going to be hey look they’re worse off so that excuses our governments failings!

      Better than someone somewhere, so that’s good enough I guess!

  6. Otrwele says:

    As the vaccinated numbers keep rising safe key will become the norm. This is what they’ve wanted from the beginning.
    A majority to weed out the minority. Right back to the days of minority discrimination.smh…. I would rather live in china becuase democracy is a lie anyway

    • LEAVE says:

      I am sure you will be welcomed there. Have nice trip

  7. John says:

    Do summer camps need to shut their doors from next week unless we Covid test our 7 year olds? No guidance ANYWHERE. Covid website updated 25th May. Nice work Kim.

  8. Wow says:

    No big deal – just means no more dining out in town for me or my family. While I like supporting our restaurants and shops, this makes it not worth the bother.
    Oh well.

    • Agree says:

      Exactly- we are using the BBQ more and enjoying our time together at home! No support of restaurants and we just returned from NY with many steaks and other items at less than wholesale cost here in Bermuda. Message to all Bermudians is to get an ice pack and bring back food because these Supermarkets are price gouging!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “just means no more dining out in town for me or my family”

      SafeKey is for INDOOR dining only. You can still dine outside at a restaurant without a SafeKey.

  9. Ty Ried says:

    Just take a read of this and tell me it’s not money driven. I’m convinced there is a need for a change of leadership but I’m not convinced either party can do the job.

    Who owns safekey? Who are the developers? What is the contract cost and how much are the tax payers paying? Who has the tech contract? Could this please be provided through PATI

  10. Kim N says:

    Can we just make it fair. It’s already been reported by this PLP government that over 65% of the positive cases have been from the vaccinated. So are the tourist required to have safekey? And if so when the cases go up again, as they surly will can we finally say that the only way to move on it to stop the scaremongering and just move on?

    Have everyone vaccinated and unvaccinated test as we are all proven carriers reported by the CDC.

  11. Rig says:

    I’m supportive of this, it needed to be done, our vaccination rate is embarrassing.

    But churches? Reeks of double standards if they are not included.

    Covid doesn’t care if its a beer at the bar or prayers in the pews.

  12. Me says:

    The unvaccinated can stay home and surf the internet for fake news on covid

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Or eat in a lovely outdoor setting.

      here is no need to make those without SafeKey feel like second class people

  13. Mark says:

    Great but i dont agree that unvaxxed should be able to use safekey. It should only be for fully vaxxed. Also, i dont think unvaxxed should be able to travel. That is coming soon from airlines so we better get used to it and i 100% agree.

    • StanTheMaintenanceMan says:

      Wow you can’t be serious. Your whole comment is bull and void because it doesn’t matter if you are vaccinated or not. You still can contract the virus and pass it on so being vaccinated is no different from being unvaccinated. Don’t sound so stupid. Stop trying to divide us.

      • Bollocks says:

        Why should the non vaccinated not receive one? I’ve had one dose, go out every weekend on front street and have not once been contact traced. Not too mention this new outbreak was caused by all the fully vaccinated who think vaccination = immunity, enlighten me on how this outbreak was caused by non vaccinated when they are locked up in Burts private west gate for 14 days? While me and others in my scenario will now be tested twice a week to even go out while you waltz around spreading it in some delusional state as your safe key doesn’t require a test?

      • sandgrownan says:

        Mark is correct.

        The vaccinated are less likely to contract and transmit the virus than the unvaccinated. Significantly.

        So, yeah, the unvaxxed can stay home a read conspiracy theories on the internet.

      • Mark says:

        Sigh…being vaccinated is no different? Our education system has truly failed. Stop trying to divide us? No need, youve done that perfectly already. You truly are a standout mate lol

    • duh says:

      get educated. being vaccinated doesnt stop you from spreading viruses. Ever take biology in school? I did.

  14. Question says:

    Churches? Or does “following the science” not apply for superstitious PLP pressure groups?

  15. Bright and Early says:

    The restrictions were relaxed when we had our Cup Match holiday no masks were required for the event and that means a super spreader. Some rules should be set out so that we can all live as free as possible. Yes we vaccinated now know that we can get Covid and spread the disease around so wear your mask and stay a safe distance even though your so called protected. This is going to continue for a long time and hopefully we don’t get another variant. Be safe Bermuda.

  16. This from a reputable source. The phizer shot less effective on the delta variant. It’s saying studies have shown that natural immunity is regarded as the best immunity to combat the virus.

  17. Loquat tree says:

    NI A quick click on your link above, shows you are incorrectly interpreting and reporting the article which is btw on an unpublished study.

    Here is the article’s actual headline:

    ‘Vaccines Are Less Effective Against Delta—And Pfizer’s Protection Wanes Rapidly—But Are The Best Way To Protect Against Covid, Large Study Finds’.
    Further on the article states that vaccines are at least equal to natural immunity, so not as you stated, regarded as the best.

  18. Sara says:

    Does anyone know if we can still get takeout without a safe key?

  19. Sailboat says:

    Oh, best believe there will be more variants; such is the style of a virus. You do realize the every year there is a new flu strain, right? Same thing. Put your mask on, wash your hands and enjoy the day! :-)

  20. Doctor Doctor says:

    Seems everyone needs lessons in basic Biology 101, both community and Government. Being vaccinated does not put a magic forcefield around you. You still transfer and inhale and carry the virus everywhere, just like unvaccinated people do. The only difference is you dont get as sick as the unvaccinated victim. These new measures and the myths propogated by the public are illogical and hypocritical. The vaccines do not even protect from Delta and other mutations. So what is the point of stigmatizing a portion of Bermudians? Stupid.

    • Mark says:

      About 10% correct. Yes you can still get it ans pass it on and you will be much less likely to get very sick of you do. However, you are far far less likely to pass it on. Also, if everyone was vaccinated, virtually no one would get seriously ill and the virus would be far far less likely to spread and also to mutate. The vaccines do protecr against delta. So really, the unvaccinated are causing all of this at this point. Those are the facts and the reality. Just read the evidence please.

      • nothin makes sense says:

        what about the cruise ships? aint no unvaxxed ppl on there but they have breakouts of covid. care to explain?

      • nothin makes sense says:

        care to explain the breakouts on cruise ships cus it isn’t any unvaxxed allowed on them.

        • Mark says:

          Sure. As has been stated numerous times, vaccinated people can still catch and pass on the virus. The main differences are that you are far less likely to get seriously ill or to pass it on as a vaccinated person. Now i cant say i know anything about casea on cruise ships but i would venture to guess that the “outbreak” did not result in any vaccinated persons in hospital or dying. But again, dont know the story you are talking about.

  21. Southampton Resident says:

    So what happens if a visitor wants to dine inside? How do they get a safekey?

  22. pink buoy says:

    I understand the rationale, but I’m about to lose hundreds to have to cancel my sister’s wedding shower this weekend because no tests are available so people can come.

  23. nothin makes sense says:

    what about the cruise ships? only vaxx people allowed on and they have had covid outbreaks so who is to blame?

  24. Doctor Doctor says:

    Government and community better get off their high horse and get educated. Stop calling us conspiracy theorists. read and weep – Double-jabbed people carry same levels of Covid as unvaccinated –

    • Toodle-oo says:

      And how many vaxxed people who get sick die compared to unvaxxed ?
      Read and weep

  25. Simple Math says:

    Dear doctor doctor. Many thanks for the link to the article. It’s a good read. It states that vaccinated folks if infected carry same COVID load as unvaccinated. The article also quotes a study and refers to a whopping 82 reduction in infection following 2 Pfizer shots. This is the type of data that drives government policy, not anecdotes.
    The link provided by Ty Ried above also includes important data. 97% of new hospitalizations in the US are from unvaccinated. This puts pressure on healthcare system and increases the risk to caregivers. It also delays folks getting hospital procedures by clogging the system.
    People have the right to chose to get vaccinated or not. Absolutely correct and fair. But their risk profile is different statistically and there is sufficient data to help drive sound government policy setting. Everyone will have a different opinion as to how far to go but the facts and numbers strongly suggest that vaccines reduce both spread and severity/ hospitalizations. Most governments and a growing number of companies are setting policies accordingly. It’s just good and sound governance. Hospital workers and folks suffering from other illnesses should also be respected.

  26. Joe Bloggs says:

    “It states that vaccinated folks if infected carry same COVID load as unvaccinated”

    Only where the Delta variant is concerned. The same is not true of the Alpha variant. Please read the whole paragraph. Do not just take one sentence, or part of one sentence, out of context.

    You might also want to consider that the article the link points to is from The Telegraph, a far right British newspaper. It is the British equivalent of Fox News.