A new antibody test to check whether someone has been infected with coronavirus, and said to be 99 per cent accurate, has been certified for use across Europe.

Global diagnostics specialists Abbott, which has a UK base in Maidenhead, has said it is expecting to have shipped millions of the laboratory based lab tests across Europe by the end of May.

The company’s diagnostic test has been given a CE mark showing it complies with EU safety rules and can now be used in labs across the UK to test for antibodies created when a person has been infected with Covid-19.

Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading told The Independent the development of the test was “very significant”.