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Tuesday 2nd June 2020

Immunity certificates 'could free people who have had coronavirus from social distancing'

Antibody tests could be the answer

Immunity certificates for those who have already had coronavirus could be introduced in the UK.

That means they would be able to skip social distancing rule and get back to their lives.

The proposal came as the government announced that contracts for 10 million new antibody tests have been signed.

Immunity certificates for those who have already had coronavirus could be introduced in the UK (Credit: Scanpix/Cover Images)

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NHS staff will get those tests first.

The antibody test will show if someone has had coronavirus in the past.

We don't yet know whether antibodies mean you are immune.

However, no one knows yet if that means their immunity will last forever.

Critical science

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: "We're developing this critical science to know the impact of a positive antibody test and to develop the systems of certification.

"It's to ensure people who have positive antibodies can be given assurances of what they can safely do."

The certificates could free people from social distancing measures (Credit: SplashNews.com)

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He added that carers and NHS staff will get the tests from next week.

They will know if they have had COVID-19 and can go to work without fear of catching it or passing it on.

But it is unknown how long they will have immunity from the disease.

However, he confirmed that ministers are already looking at a 'system of certification.'

It works by showing who is safe to go back to work and mix freely with others.

The antibody tests will help scientists to understand more about the virus (Credit: W8 Media / SplashNews.com)

Meanwhile, the antibody tests will help scientists to understand more about the virus.

They will learn more about who is most at risk from coronavirus, who is more likely to die and who is more likely to transmit it to others.

This will all help them to prepare for dealing with the virus in the future.

Game changer

The NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said: "This could be a game changer – and it is great that we now have a reliable antibody test.

"As the Government acknowledges of course there are still unknowns. We don't yet know whether antibodies mean you are immune."

Earlier the Prime Minister's spokesman said the tests would be "free for people who need them, as you would expect."

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