Welcome to the SafeEntryBC prototype, a conceptual model describing a set of tools that might help us explore ways to help citizens and the economy of BC as we transition from our current state to “the new normal.” A successful transition requires that as citizens move around more, they can be as safe as possible. In many places that will mean knowing more about other people with whom they are interacting, particularly service providers that are entering controlled-access facilities. In places at risk of a COVID-19 outbreak, such as extended care facilities and hospitals, great care will be needed in preventing infected (potentially asymptomatic) service providers from entering. But in the initial stages of restarting the economy, such controlled access locations might be everywhere—even people’s homes.
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SafeEntryBC is a contact-less way to manage the risk of service providers coming into a space you control. As we gain a better understanding of the science, people could have a set of credentials (whatever those might be) to help manage that risk. Think of SafeEntryBC as a replacement for the “Visitor’s Log” you saw in many businesses in the old days (you remember, back in January 2020). With SafeEntryBC, instead of writing down your name, company and date of visit, you are sent a real-time request for a set of (digital) credentials that you must present that are suitable for mitigating the risk of you entering the facility. In some places, that might be just your name and the company for whom you work. In high risk locations, such a request might include asking for a credential about your COVID-19 status—perhaps a recent “negative” test or (if/when such a thing becomes available) an immunity credential.
SafeEntryBC is not a surveillance program to monitor and record the activities of the population in a central database. It uses a technology (“verifiable credentials” —see a very brief backgrounder here) that provides you with the digital equivalent of the paper credentials we use every day, credentials like your drivers licence. For service providers (or anyone) to gain entry to a SafeEntryBC controlled-access location, they acquire from various issuers the credentials they need in their digital wallet before arrival, and when entering a facility, scan a QR code to transmit proof they possess the set of credentials required by the facility. A “gatekeeper” (likely a person, but it could be a device) monitoring the access point decides to allow or refuse entry based on the presented information.