About half of Britons have coronavirus antibodies: ONS

Around half of the entire British population have COVID-19 antibodies, data from the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed Tuesday.

By March 14, about 55 percent of people in England, 51 percent in Wales, 49 percent in Northern Ireland and 43 percent in Scotland have antibodies, according to the ONS.

However, the figures only include people in private households and not settings such as hospitals and care homes.

The presence of coronavirus antibodies suggests someone has either had the virus or been vaccinated. It usually takes two to three weeks after infection or vaccination for the body to produce enough antibodies to fight off coronavirus.

Another 4,040 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,341,736, according to official figures released Tuesday.

More than 30.6 million people have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

The government said the country is “on course” to meet its target of offering a first dose to the top nine priority groups, including the over-50s, by April 15 and all adults by the end of July.

The latest figures came as two households or groups of up to six were allowed to meet outside, including in private gardens and outdoor team sports are reopening from Monday.

From April 12, non-essential retail, as well as restaurants and pubs, if serving people outdoors, will be allowed to reopen in England.

On Feb. 22, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his “roadmap” exiting the lockdown, the third of its kind since the start of the pandemic in the country. The four-step plan is expected to see all legal restrictions in England being removed by mid-June.

Experts have warned Britain is “still not out of the woods” amid concerns over new variants and the third wave of pandemic in the European continent.