The antibody test will aim to establish whether somebody has recovered from COVID-19, rather than whether they now have it.
Prof Sharon Peacock, the director of the national infection service at PHE, told MPs on the science and technology committee that mass testing in the United Kingdom would be possible by next week, according to the Guardian.
She said the tests would also allow key workers - like doctors and nurses - to go back to work if they have developed antibodies.
Peacock said that the tests were now being evaluated to confirm whether they worked, which she said would happen by the end of the week, after which "several million" would be rolled out across the country.More news: Ian Lipkin, Medical Consultant on 'Contagion,' Tests Positive for Coronavirus
Prof Peacock told the Commons Science and Technology Committee via video link that researchers need to fully evaluate the tests to "ensure we understand how they operate".
"Testing the test is a small matter, and I anticipate that it will be done by the end of this week".
"You prick your finger like a diabetic would, then get a drop of blood and put it on a filter paper and then run some liquid to make that run into the test zone".
Asked if she meant the tests would be ready for roll-out within days rather than weeks, she said: "Absolutely".More news: James Bond actor declares he wanted to play Superman or Spider-Man
It follows calls from the director general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for countries around the world to do as much testing as possible. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.
Appearing before the House of Commons science and technology committee via video link, Prof Peacock said the new tests were now being evaluated at a laboratory in Oxford with 3.5 million having already been ordered.
It has potentially huge implications because it could allow people to return to work and resume normal life as they will not be able to pick up the infection.
Healthcare companies Novacyt and Yourgene Health said on Wednesday they would be teaming up to produce coronavirus testing products in the United Kingdom.More news: Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Rematch Postponed Over Coronavirus
"As the global demand for our COVID-19 test continues to increase, we are pleased to have rapidly established a relationship with the expert team at Yourgene to further expand our manufacturing capacity", Novacyt CEO Graham Mullis said.