In a letter in the British Medical Journal, 14 senior academics have warned the Prime Minister the tests could, in fact, place further burden on the NHS. The antibody tests were once deemed as crucial due to the ability to identify if someone has had the virus or not. Due to this, the Government ordered 10 million antibody test kits. However, the academics have insisted as the tests cannot prove whether a person has future immunity, they, therefore, offer no benefit to hospitals or care staff. This comes as the Prime Minister relaxed further measures across England from July 4.
This week the Prime Minister revealed pubs, restaurants and cinemas would now be able to reopen from next week.
Although certain safety measures will be put in place such as wearing face masks, the news will be a huge boost to the UK economy after over three months in lockdown.
Two households will also be able to meet in any setting although social distancing is still advised.
Following a review, the Prime Minister also stated that where it is not possible, a distance of one metre plus must be kept.
He did add, however, that these measures would be under constant review and could be rescinded if the rate of infection rises.
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7.35am update: Boris Johnson given antibody test warning
Despite being hailed as a crucial element of the Government’s recovery plan, academics have penned a joint letter in the British Medical Journal insisting there may be no use for the tests.
In the letter, the test cannot show future immunity to the virus and thus is no use for medical and care staff.
They said: “The concept of ‘immune passports,’ allowing healthcare workers or others to work, has not been established.
“Those with a positive antibody test should still consider themselves at risk and follow infection control policies designed to prevent [in-hospital] spread and risk of infection.
“There is, therefore, no benefit to healthcare organisations or to others in knowing the status of employees at present.”