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Sat, 6 June 2020

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Recovered coronavirus patients could be given 'immunity bracelets' to ease lockdown, Matt Hancock reveals

Recovered coronavirus patients could be given 'immunity bracelets' to ease lockdown, Matt Hancock reveals

Matt Hancock said the scheme could help ease lockdown restrictions

2 min read

People who recover from the coronavirus could be given "immunity bracelets" to allow their lives to return to normal, Matt Hancock has said.

The Health Secretary said the move could form part of the Government's attempts to eventually ease the lockdown and enable people to return to work.

It came after he pledged to boost coronavirus testing to 100,000 per day by the end of April following criticism of the Government's strategy for tracking who has the illness.

Speaking after his own recovery from Covid-19, Mr Hancock said he wanted to see the rollout of mass antibody tests, which would show whether someone had already had the illness and therefore was likely immune.

However, he admitted they could be months away after none had recieved approval so far from Public Health England.

Germany have already announced plans to issue certificates to those who have recovered, but Mr Hancock said they would only be considered once the UK had a viable antibody testing scheme.

Speaking on BBC's Question Time, he said: "When the science is good enough to understand the immunity that people have after having had the disease, then we are looking at introducing something like an immunity certificate or maybe a wristband that says 'I’ve had it and I’m immune and I can’t pass it on and I’m highly unlikely to catch it’.

"And we think we will be able to get there but as of today, the scientists are not confident enough in understanding the progress of the disease after people have got through it like I have."

Meanwhile, Number 10 said they would examine how the scheme worked abroad before considering using it to help ease recovered patients out of lockdown.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "It is something which has been discussed in other countries.

"We will look at strategies followed elsewhere. If there are things that would be helpful in the UK, we will of course consider them."

Boris Johnson is due to emerge from his own seven days in isolation on Friday following his own positive coronavirus diagnosis.

However, his spokesman cast doubt on whether he will be allowed out of quarantine as he is still experiencing "mild symptoms" of the disease.

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