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  • Border officials are spotting around 100 falsified COVID-19 test certificates every day, according to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus
  • HALO is the first COVID-19 testing provider to introduce QR code technology to protect the use of doctored or falsified certificates
  • New technology to check testing certificates may help reduce the wait time of passengers arriving and departing from UK airports

London, 23 June 2021: HALO, one of the UK’s leading COVID-19 testing providers, is introducing a new QR code recognition system to prevent doctored or falsified COVID-19 test certificates being used for international travel. The system, which launches today, is designed to give travellers confidence in verifying their eligibility to travel with airline carriers and border agents, and reduce queuing times at airports with a quicker verification process for certificate checks.

While there is still no universally agreed standard for COVID-19 test certification for international travellers, many airlines ask passengers to provide a printed test certificate to ‘prove’ their eligibility to travel, based on a negative test. However, a paper-based system is open to abuse as simple editing software could enable a certificate to be falsified or even faked entirely.

Jonathan Biles, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at HALO said: “If we are serious about beating COVID-19, we have to get serious about testing and verifying the results of international travellers, whether they’re coming into or flying out of the UK. As soon as we saw the potential issue we developed a solution – at HALO we are dedicated to doing everything we can for our customers, our travel partners and the British public to stop those looking to exploit flaws in the current system from travelling when they are not fit to do so.”

HALO’s service offers an additional layer of protection and verification for customers, airline carriers and international border agents. Its app-based certification system accesses HALO’s secure test result database via a QR code link, which will always provide an accurate, verified COVID-19 test result. Even if a traveller has falsified a paper certificate, a QR code check will quickly establish an inconsistency with HALO’s secure test results database.

Access to this technology will come at no extra cost to customers, with the QR code included on the HALO app. It will be part of the full testing service that customers receive after purchasing a HALO test, which includes door-to-door courier delivery and pick-up, 24-hour test analysis from arrival at the lab, and a saliva-based spit test without the need for painful swabs or appointments with medical professionals.

The launch of HALO’s new QR code technology in an effort to further protect the public from COVID-19, follows the announcement that HALO has partnered with UCL Genomics and The Francis Crick Institute to enable the rapid sequencing of positive COVID-19 test results. The collaboration will enable UK scientists to track and understand the virulence and transmissibility of new COVID-19 Variants of Concern (VOCs) as they emerge, as well as Variants Under Investigation (VUIs).