First coronavirus antibody test set to be approved by Public Health England

The first successful coronavirus antibody test is set to be approved by Public Health England this week and could be rolled out within a fortnight.

It comes as Boris Johnson is reportedly lining up a special broadcast on Sunday night to reveal the next steps in the UK’s lockdown.

The new test is considered vital to easing the strict social distancing measures safely and preventing a second spike in the outbreak.

An antibody test is different from the ones currently being used to check whether people currently have Covid-19, as it will detect if a person has previously had the disease, and are therefore likely to now be immune to it.

It could enable those with a positive result to interact with others in confidence they are not placing them at risk.

The testing giant Roche Diagnostics says its kit is accurate enough to be used at scale, and they have enough stock to provide hundreds of thousands per week if it gets the green light.

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