An antibody test is a blood test to check if you’ve had coronavirus (COVID-19) before. You can register for an invite to get a test kit.
The antibody test is a home test kit sent to you in the post.
It’s different from the test to check if you have coronavirus now.
Who can register for a home test kit
The rules for who can register for an antibody test depend on:
- where you live
- your job
If you’re in England
You can only register for a test kit if you’re 18 or over and you work in paid adult social care.
If you’re in Wales
You can only register for a test if you’re 18 or over and you work in paid domiciliary care (caring for people in their homes).
If you’re in Northern Ireland
You can register for a test as part of a study to understand the spread of coronavirus.
You must be 18 or over and one of these must apply:
- you work in primary care (for example a GP, pharmacist, community nurse, dental nurse or optician)
- you do any job in a care home
- you’re a care worker in paid domiciliary care (caring for people in their homes)
Not everyone in Northern Ireland who registers will get a test.
If you’re in Scotland
You can register for a test kit if you are:
- 18 or over
- working in education (teaching or non-teaching staff)
- based in an early years education, primary, secondary or an additional support for learning school setting
If you got an invitation email, you also can join Public Health Scotland’s coronavirus antibody survey. This will make sure your test result is as helpful as possible to Scotland’s response to coronavirus. Check your invitation email for the key code to join the survey.
About the antibody test kit
The test is a ‘fingerprick’ blood test which checks for coronavirus antibodies.
The test kit is posted to you. It comes with everything you need. You take the test and post your sample back. Then you’ll get your results.
This service is only for registering for an antibody test kit by post. You cannot use it to book a test at an NHS test site.
What the antibody test can tell you
An antibody test can tell you if it’s likely you’ve had coronavirus before.
An antibody test does not tell you:
- if you’re protected from coronavirus
- if you can or cannot spread the virus to other people
Why take the test
Taking the test helps the NHS and research scientists learn more about who’s had the virus and how it has spread.
Register for a test kit
Once you’ve registered, you’ll get an email or text message inviting you to order a test kit. This can take a few weeks.
What you need to know
It should take 5 to 10 minutes to register.