So-called coronavirus 'immunity certificates' that could allow Britons to return to work have come a step closer after ministers announced that mass antibody tests are being deployed.
NHS and care workers will start to be given the tests from next week after Matt Hancock announced the government has signed a contract for 10 million kits.
The screening will finally show who has been through the disease and emerged with some level of resistance, a blind spot that has so far been a major blow to the UK response.
At the Downing Street briefing last night, the Health Secretary stressed that the science of whether people develop immunity, and how long it lasts, was still emerging.
However, he confirmed that ministers are already looking at a 'system of certification' that would signify people who are safe to go back to work and mix freely with others.
The prospect has already raised concerns about the social impact - with the government's own experts warning that those who are not immune could be shunned and desperate individuals might deliberately try to get infected.
Mr Hancock said: 'We're developing this critical science to know the impact of a positive antibody test and to develop the systems of certification to ensure people who have positive antibodies can be given assurances of what they can safely do.'
He added: 'We're not yet in a position to say that those who test positive in these antibody tests are immune from coronavirus.
'But as our understanding of the disease improves, the insight these antibody tests provide will be crucial.'
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People frolic in the water as they enjoy the sunshine in Hackney Marshes, East London, on Thursday
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My view: I don't believe such a system is reliable, it could be dangerous and might force desperate people to seek out the disease.