Antibody testing to check if you’ve had coronavirus (COVID-19)

An antibody test is a blood test to check if you’ve had coronavirus (COVID-19) before. An antibody test is different to the swab test to check if you have COVID-19 now.

What an antibody test can tell you

An antibody test can tell you if it’s likely you’ve had COVID-19 before.

But it does not work for everyone, as some people who’ve had the virus do not have antibodies.

An antibody test does not tell you:

  • if you’re immune to COVID-19
  • if you can or cannot spread the virus to other people

Important

If you’ve had COVID-19, you still need to follow the same social distancing advice as everyone else.

How an antibody test works

An antibody test checks for antibodies in your blood.

Your body makes antibodies when you get an infection. They help fight the infection.

If you have COVID-19 antibodies in your blood, it’s likely you’ve had the virus before.

It’s not known if having antibodies stops you getting the virus again.