Home Kent News 100 people a day ‘entering Kent with fake COVID certificates’

100 people a day ‘entering Kent with fake COVID certificates’

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Original article from Kent Live

Border Force staff say they spot around 100 people a day trying to enter Britain with badly-spelled fake COVID certificates.

Giving evidence to MPs yesterday (April 20), immigration staff said the fake documents claiming a traveller has a recent negative test result were "very easy" to forge.

Lucy Moreton, professional officer for the Immigration Services Union (ISU), which represents border immigration and customs staff in the UK, told the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus that around 20,000 people are coming into the country each day.

The majority are hauliers entering through the Channel Ports and travelling through Kent.

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To enter England via Folkestone or Dover, people must provide proof of a negative test taken in the three days before departure.

It can be shown to border agents as a printed document or through an email or text message.

Hauliers who enter England from abroad need to show test results if they are in England for longer than two days.

Asked how border agents are able to verify proof of a negative test, Ms Moreton told MPs: "We're not is the simple answer, it's predominately taken on trust.

"We do get 100 or more a day of fake COVID certificates that we catch."

Europol warned earlier this year about the illicit sale of false negative COVID test certificates.

Those who attempt to evade quarantine or testing by providing false information face a fine of up to £10,000, and up to 10 years in prison.

Discussing how fake COVID certificates are spotted, Ms Moreton said: "We catch them if there is a spelling error somewhere.

"Otherwise they are taken at face value."

She said that the documents are checked against a series of code numbers but "these things are very easy to knock up electronically unfortunately".

Asked how many could be falling through the cracks, she added: 'It's inherently unknowable.

"A lot of the border and immigration and migration and quarantine controls are based on trust: 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 2 Acacia Avenue to quarantine; we trust that there is an Acacia Avenue and that when they are going to go there, they are going to stay there.

"The whole thing is based on an assumption that people will do the right thing."

Original Article