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More than 100 fake Covid certificates caught at border each day as variant fears grow

Hundreds of people using fake Covid certificates are putting the UK at serious risk, MPs have heard.

Experts have told the government that counterfeit forms are being widely used because creating a forgery is so straight forward.

Every day more than 100 people are being caught with so-called ‘proof’ of a negative test needed to enter from many countries where coronavirus is raging – only for the certificates to be fake.

Border officials have sent out a warning that they are “easy to knock-up online” and say more needs to be done with the worrying Indian variant a serious cause for concern.

Immigration Services Union boss Lucy Moreton said: “We catch 100 or more fake Covid certificates every day, if there’s a spelling error in it somewhere.

Hundreds are trying to pass off fake Covid certificates
Hundreds are trying to pass off fake Covid certificates [file pic]

“If the certificate is in another language, they’re usually taken at face value. But these things are very easy to knock-up online, unfortunately.”

She added: “We trust people when they say they haven’t been in a red list country in the last 10 days, and that they’re going to quarantine.

“The whole thing is based on an assumption that people will do the right thing, but I’m not sure the behavioural studies actually indicate that people do.”

University of Bristol professor of public health Dr Gabriel Scally said adding India to the red list was like “shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted”.

The government have been alerted to a growing problem at boarder control
The government have been alerted to a growing problem at border control

He feels exemptions should be limited in order to stop any new variants entering the UK.

Dr Scally said: “A leaky quarantine system in whatever way, whether it’s eligibility, vaccination certificates, special exemptions, is really dangerous and really unhelpful.

“We should learn from the experience of countries like Taiwan or Singapore or New Zealand or Australia — and they do it really tightly, really well.”

Boris Johnson has been urged to act
Boris Johnson has been urged to act

Layla Moran MP, chairman of the APPG, said: “This stark evidence exposes how current border checks are totally inadequate to stop Covid cases entering the UK, including dangerous variants.”

The alert comes as cases continue to fall across the UK.

More people now die on British roads each day than from Covid-19 with the majority of older people fully vaccinated, new data reveals.

Over 10 million people have been vaccinated with both doses, including three-quarters of over 75s in what Boris Johnson has called a “remarkable” feat.

“This is another remarkable milestone in our vaccination programme, which has already saved thousands of lives,” he said.

It means one in five adults have had two doses and almost 33 million people have had their first dose of a vaccine.



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