Britain has agreed on a deal for acquiring antibody tests, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated on Thursday, mentioning the tests will be free and health and care workers would be prioritized.

The mass antibody testing is getting considered by many nations as a way for speeding up the reopening of economies that are devastated by the coronavirus or COVID-19 lockdowns and to introduce more tailored social distancing measures.

Mass Antibody Testing is Being Conducted by Many Countries

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Britain has been in talks with Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG to buy an accurate COVID-19 antibody test, following the lead of the European Union and the United States which have already given preliminary approval to the tests. "Have we now agreed a deal on the antibody testing? The answer to that is yes," the spokesman told reporters, adding that health minister Matt Hancock would offer more details later on Thursday.

The antibody tests - also known as a serology test - show who has been infected, although it is not yet clear whether the presence of antibodies to the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, confers permanent immunity. Earlier this month, the spokesman said there was the possibility of issuing some kind of certificate based on immunity but that scientists still needed to know more about that subject area.

(With agency inputs)