Antibody (blood) test
Antibody testing forms part of the Government’s testing programme. The antibody testing service to check if you've had COVID-19 closed in March 2022.
Current evidence seems to suggest that those who have had the virus do not develop long-lasting immunity which would prevent them from getting the virus again, as it is possible for people to get COVID-19 a second time. Antibody testing at this stage is useful primarily to improve our understanding about the spread of the virus.
In order to better understand the role that an antibody test could play in our response to the epidemic, we need to improve our understanding of how the immune system responds to the virus that causes Covid-19. This is being done through antibody research and surveys. We do not currently know how long an antibody response to the virus lasts.
Testing positive after an antibody test does not, therefore, mean you are immune. Anyone who tests positive with an antibody test must continue to follow Government guidelines to protect themselves and others. They must continue to:
- wash their hands regularly (for at least 20 seconds),
- follow any social distancing guidance where these remain in place (usually health and care environments),
- wear face coverings where this requirement remains in place and in crowded in-door locations,
- wear PPE in all the circumstances it was worn previously (where applicable).
Having a positive antibody test does not mean you cannot get the virus again.
Our understanding of the virus will grow as new scientific evidence and studies emerge.