People in the UK have been warned not to post pictures of their lateral flow tests online as the codes are reportedly being traded by criminal groups who are selling negative results.
Amid positive coronavirus cases reaching record highs in recent weeks, a 'growing illegal trade' has been identified despite hefty fines of up to £10,000 for those using or supplying fake Covid passes.
WalesOnline spoke to Shahzad Ali, CEO at Get Licensed, one of the UK's leading security training platforms, who said the issue could compromise the safety of venues and nightclubs.
"We have seen fake documentation for many years, for example, fake IDs have been a regular feature at nightclubs for a number of years," he told the publication.
"This is just a new complication that door supervisors will soon become used to facing.
"It was always inevitable that fake Covid passes would start to appear as soon as there were rumours of them being introduced.
"Whilst grossly unethical and potentially very dangerous, it is also illegal to use/supply/distribute fake Covid passes and could see you rack up a fine of £10,000 should you be caught.
"There is obviously going to be a market for Covid passes because there will be people who want to go about their life like normal and not have to take Covid tests for things they didn't have to before, so it is extremely important that you look after your Covid pass."
According to an earlier report from Sky News, criminals had been advertising fake EU Covid certificates as a way to cash in on the anti-vax movement across Europe.
To stay safe, Ali suggested: "Our advice would be to avoid posting it on social media, don't share the code from the lateral flow you have taken because others could register it as their test.
"Covid passes will potentially make door supervisors' jobs much more difficult, especially when we consider the consequences of people who are especially forthcoming with their beliefs, it could make the job much more dangerous."
Covid-19 has been spreading rapidly over recent weeks, reaching record highs in large part due to the more transmissible Omicron variant.
Thursday's (30 December) figure hit a new high with the announcement of 189,213 confirmed cases.
More than 51 million people in the UK have had at least the first dose of the vaccine, with approximately 32 million having had the third jab.
As figures of confirmed cases continue to rise, the NHS has launched a fresh booster jab drive in a bid to protect more people from the spread of the Omicron variant.
Words: Daisy Phillipson
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