17% of Londoners and 5% of the rest of the UK have coronavirus antibodies


A small number of Britons already have coronavirus antibodies in their systems, the government has said. 

Speaking during today’s daily Downing Street press briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government’s antibody surveillance study has shown that 17% of people in London and 5% of the population in the rest of the country have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. 

Antibody tests tell a person if they have had the virus and have subsequently developed antibodies in response that might help them to fight the virus in the future. Mr Hancock said the government has signed contracts to supply 10 million antibody tests, with health and care staff, patients and residents being prioritised to receive one from next week. 

He added that certification systems will be developed for people who test positive for coronavirus antibodies, so they can be advised on what they can safely do.

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