The country has been in lockdown for the last two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed over 36,000 lives in the UK. Now, the government is starting to ease some of the strict measures put into place, including allowing citizens to exercise outdoors as often as they like and to meet up with friends and family from a safe distance (though only one at a time).
However, as more people contract (and recover from) the disease, symptoms of which include a loss of taste and smell, the government has now announced it's considering providing some kind of paper proof (e.g. a certificate, passport or form) for people who've already had coronavirus, and therefore could now be immune to it. However, nothing is certain yet as the science has to be foolproof first.
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, said "systems of certification" were in development, with the hopes that they'd provide a partial return to normality for some. Speaking yesterday at a press briefing, he told reporters, “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.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has mentioned the idea of immunity certificates before too; earlier this month he said a type of certificate based on having immunity might be issued, but that it's still early days.
In the meantime, the government and all number of public health bodies are encouraging everybody to stay on top of hand-washing and to keep up with social distancing measures.
The World Health Organisation posted a statement on the idea of "immunity passports" or "risk-free certificates" back in April saying, "There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection."
However, new scientific breakthroughs are being made every day, with a group of researchers even recently announcing that mouthwash could help with destroying the virus that causes COVID-19.
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