Public Health England has approved a Covid-19 antibody test developed by pharma giant Roche.

The Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology test was approved at the beginning of May by the EU and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It has a 99.8% specificity and 100% sensitivity, and is designed to be used on blood samples taken by a healthcare professional at least 14 days after a person has developed Covid-19.

Roche said its fully automated analysers, which many hospitals already have on-site, can provide results within 18 minutes for a single test, with the capacity to analyse up to 300 samples per hour.

No tests have yet been purchased by the UK government, which is still in discussions with Roche about acquiring them.