Holidays heat up search for fake vaccine certificate, German police say – 05/13/2021 – Worldwide

The proximity of the European summer and the promise that those vaccinated will be exempt from most anti-pandemic restrictions are causing two phenomena in some countries: the rush to health posts for those who want to be vaccinated and the heating up of the population. market for fake certificates, driven by so-called anti-taxxists – who refuse injections for ideology.

“The problem of false certificates already exists today and will continue for a long time,” said Sebastian Fiedler, president of the Federation of German Criminal Investigators (BDK). According to him, anti-vaccines are one of the main buyers in the counterfeit industry.

Almost six months after the start of vaccination campaigns in Europe, 3 in 10 Germans say they do not intend to accept a vaccine when offered, according to a recently published Eurofound survey.

In addition to eliminating the strings, the full vaccination will make it easier to cross borders. From this Sunday (16), Germany will no longer need tests and quarantine from those who have already taken two doses or have recovered from Covid-19, unless they comes from countries with a high circulation of more contagious variants.

Since there is no historical standard for the document, it will not be easy to recognize the fake, Rainer Wendt, chairman of the DPolG police union, told German media. A similar problem was identified by Europol in February, when the need to test negative for the coronavirus raised concerns about fake certificates.

Ensuring the veracity of the vouchers and standardizing the necessary information in the countries of the European bloc has led the European Union to offer a single digital certificate. The idea is that residents vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 can move freely within the Schengen zone (of 30 European countries) without the need for tests or quarantines.

Presented in March, the document is still under discussion by national governments; it should be released on June 21. Germany, like Austria and Denmark, has anticipated and created its own system to facilitate internal movement of its residents.

Other countries whose economies are fundamentally dependent on tourism, such as Italy, are promising to launch their free passes in May, pending the EU certificate.

Isolated initiatives should open up new opportunities for the counterfeit market, with an eye on countries where vaccine mistrust and travel purchasing power is high. This is the case in France, where nearly 40% of the population declares that they do not intend to accept vaccines.

But it was not only deniers who were encouraged by the prospect of greater freedom. The German government’s decision to remove minimum age limits for the application of the AstraZeneca immunizer has led to hundreds of people lining up in several cities over the weekend.

According to Martin Helfrich, a spokesperson for the Hamburg social authority, there has also been increased pressure from people who insist on breaking the line to receive the injection. “The climate is becoming more and more aggressive. Some people clearly know that they are not allowed and are still trying to get vaccinated,” he told the Mainz report.

Depending on the program, there are indications that people are lying in age or forging health certificates in an attempt to anticipate their injections. Another shortcut was opened by decision of states like Rhineland-Palatinate, in which he needs treatment, he can provide two names to receive the vaccine doses. According to the newspaper, there are cases in which “up to eight healthy young people could be vaccinated as a one-person contact.”

In Brussels, where the injections were released this week for the 40-year-old age group, groups of young people between 20 and 30 gather at the end of the afternoon in front of the vaccination centers, to try to obtain a dose close to expiration. or leftovers from a withdrawal.

According to the current schedule, the second dose for people born after 1990 is expected to be in mid-July, which would require this generation to undergo a routine of testing to travel during the European summer.

Taking advantage of the surplus of light bulbs and the need to reactivate the tourist sector – its main economic activity – the micro-republic of San Marino is launching this Monday (17) its “vaccine tourism package”. Travelers who book at least six hotel nights will be able to take two doses of the Russian immunizer Sputnik V.

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