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Published on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

UK border staff discover 100 fake Covid test certificates every day

Border officers are spotting about 100 fake Covid test certificates every day, MPs have been told.

They were told documents are relatively low tech and are quite easy to forge, and there is no way to know how many bogus certificates are getting through undetected.

Around 20,000 people enter the country each day, of which most are truckers.

Proof of a negative test taken in the past three days is required which can be a printed document or email confirmation.

Immigration Services Union professional officer Lucy Moreton said border staff have no way to categorically guarantee a document is genuine.

"It's predominately taken on trust,' she told the All Party Parliamentary Group on Covid.

"'We trust people when they say they have not been in a red list country in the last 10 days, we trust people when they say that they are going to quarantine. The whole thing is based on an assumption that people will do the right thing."

A member of the Independent SAGE group of scientists, Professor Deenan Pillay, has said the system for checking arrivals is 'very leaky'.

It suggests border staff are successfully spotting fake documents which obviously look bogus, but an unknown number of good quality forgeries could be getting through.

"The stark evidence we heard today exposed how current border checks are totally inadequate to stop Covid cases entering the UK, including dangerous variants," said Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group, Layla Moran.

Moran says the government should do more to actively discourage people from travelling.


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