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Travel Essentials 2021: Negative Covid-19 PCR Test – But How Trustworthy are They?

Travel Essentials 2021: Negative Covid-19 PCR Test – But How Trustworthy are They?

With Covid lockdown restrictions finally coming to an end on July 19th in England and more countries and territories being added to the safe-to-fly list, there is going to be an ever-increasing demand for Brits to pack their bags and look to jet away for some well-deserved relaxation abroad- something that most of us have not been able to do for nearly 18 months. 

Along with the already extensive list of things that we need to remember before we set off, in comes the latest requirement to have proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test before being able to leave or enter the country. A quick search online will provide numerous companies offering these tests with quick turnarounds, just in time for your holiday (a full list is available on the government website).

With many of my colleagues travelling to and from the UK for work purposes, we here at GlobalSign have of course used a variety of different providers, received a variation of results and have been presented these results in a number of different ways.

Quite surprisingly, and something that GlobalSign are concerned about, is the legitimacy of the documents being provided. As specialists in document security and authenticity we have found that several providers aren’t using encrypted methods for signing the documentation. This documentation, costing between £150 to £300, can be rendered useless and in some examples even be manipulated with ease to change important details.


The document above was amended in as little as 1 minute after receiving the results, with important information, such as the result, the name and date being changed with ease. Other providers simply offered a branded page to validate the test results. The worrying part being that the page is easily accessible from external sources, and to an unknowing official could be seen as legitimate.

With the legitimacy of these documents being brought into question, we believe that companies offering this service should at a minimum be securing the documents to avoid any manipulation and provide integrity to the documents they are sending - after all, these are still classed as medical documents that hold confidential information (Did someone say GDPR?).

If these documents are being accepted as confirmation that an individual is “Covid-free” and “fit to fly” when in fact that may not be the case, raises concerns about not only the well-being of those flying but also jeopardizes the safety of entire nations and the overall efforts to control the pandemic.

With the UK slowly returning back to normality, restrictions being lifted and many of us booking some well-deserved sun abroad, let’s not forget the importance of the work that everyone has done over the past 18 months to get us to where we are. 

If you would like any additional information about how you can secure your documents and provide authenticity, learn more here. Alternatively, feel free to contact a member of the sales team and we would be more than happy to assist with your enquiry.

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