Europol has warned that fake negative Covid-19 test certificates and documentation are being sold to people, enabling them to avoid travel restrictions, and have identified an Irish criminal gang as allegedly being involved.

The European law enforcement agency said it received intelligence on the alleged use of a mobile application by a crime gang based in the south of the country, which allows for the manual falsification of test results.

It has said several cases of such fraudulent certificates being sold to travellers have already emerged.

It cites a forgery ring at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, which was dismantled after having sold negative test results.

In the UK, fraudsters were also caught selling bogus Covid-19 documents for more than £100 each.

In December of last year, one fraudster was also caught by police in Spain, for selling fake test results for €40 each.

Europol warns that as long as travel restrictions remain in place due to the pandemic, it is "very likely" that criminals will seize the opportunity of producing and selling fake Covid-19 test certificates.

Given the widespread technological means available, in the form of high-quality printers and different software, the agency said that fraudsters are able to produce "high-quality counterfeit, forged or fake documents".

It is encouraging EU member states to share any relevant information on criminal activities related to fake Covid-19 test documentation with them.