Here's why you shouldn't post photos of your COVID test on social media

·2-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

With Omicron cases continuing to spread across the UK, putting a pause on plans to 'get back to normal life', many of us are taking regular rapid COVID tests at home to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. But, while it's tempting to post a photo of your negative (or positive) COVID test on social media, experts are warning against doing so. Here's why...

It's all to do with COVID passes – which enable us to enter venues and attend events with peace of mind that we won't be spreading (or catching) the virus – and how some people are stealing other people's test results to get themselves a fake one.

"It was always inevitable that fake COVID passes would start to appear as soon as there were rumours of them being introduced," said Shahzad Ali, CEO at Get Licensed, one of the UK's leading security training platforms. "We have seen fake documentation for many years, for example, fake IDs have been a regular feature at nightclubs for a number of years. This is just a new complication that door supervisors will soon become used to facing."

He continued, "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."

As for how to do that, Ali said: "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."

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

To tackle to issue, the security expert points out that the government is taking fast action. "Whilst grossly unethical and potentially very dangerous, it is also illegal to use/supply/distribute fake COVID passes," Ali added. "[Doing so] could see you rack up a fine of £10,000 should you be caught."

To help curb the spread of the virus, laws were brought into place last month requiring venues in England to make it compulsory to have a COVID pass for entry – either in the form of a negative test or proof of double vaccination.

It's easy to access your COVID pass, through the NHS App or via the NHS website, and you can order lateral flow tests to take at home via the gov.uk site.

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