Covid travel news live: US to warn against trips to most of world, as UK border hit by fake test certificates
The US is expected to advise against travelling to more than three-quarters of the world’s countries in an expansion of its coronavirus alert level.
The State Department’s level-four “do not travel” alert currently covers 34 nations including Kenya, Russia and Brazil, but officials now say they will extend it to 80 per cent of the globe.
It comes as British MPs are told that hundreds of people are trying to enter the country on fake Covid test documents.
Border officials say certificates proving a traveller has had a recent negative test result are “very easy” to forge and that the true number of counterfeits is “inherently unknowable”.
Source: The Independent
Hundreds entering the UK on fake Covid test certificates which are ‘easy to forge’
About 100 travellers are trying to enter the UK every day with fake negative coronavirus test certificates which are very easy to forge, MPs have heard.
Lucy Moreton, professional officer for the Immigration Services Union (ISU), which represents border immigration and customs staff in the UK, also said there is no way to tell how many more are being missed, and added that there is "little to no" evidence on how well people are adhering to quarantine rules.
Ms Moreton told the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus that some 20,000 people were entering the country daily, mostly hauliers.
To enter England people must provide proof of a negative test taken in the three days before departure, either printed or electronic.
Asked how border agents can 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."
"We catch them if there is a spelling error somewhere," Ms Moreton said. “Otherwise they are taken at face value.”
A lot of certificates are not in English, making spelling mistakes potentially harder to spot, she added
Europol warned earlier this year about the illicit sale of false-negative Covid test certificates.
Asked how many could be falling through the cracks, she added: "It's inherently unknowable.”
Ms Moreton added: "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."
Additional reporting by PA
Source: The Independent