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Army Basic Training And In-Person Recruitment On Hold Over COVID-19

The Ministry of Defence says training centres will remain open in the UK, while the Army looks into ways to remotely test candidates.

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The British Army has paused all basic training operations due to COVID-19, with face-to-face assessments of potential new recruits being postponed.

While the Army and outsourced partner Capita will continue to recruit, applicants preparing for assessment at UK centres have had their tests put on hold until further notice.

There are currently no changes to the recruitment process leading up to the point of assessment - potential recruits still able to apply online and prepare accordingly.

The Army says basic training will resume "as soon as conditions allow", and confirmed all affected recruits will keep their place in training.

New start dates will be issued "as soon as possible".

The Ministry of Defence says training centres will remain open while the Army looks into ways to remotely test candidates, following advice from the Government to avoid mass gatherings.

Up to now, two-day assessments featured an overnight stay with tens of other applicants, while tests have included team exercises and personal discussion with recruiters.

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An Army spokesperson said the recruitment process will continue "virtually".

"We are working on a different way to run our assessments which avoids bringing together large groups of candidates," they added.

From Friday, schools will be closed for all pupils, except children of 'key workers'.

Military members will find out today if they are classed as key workers, a list which currently includes police, health service workers and delivery drivers.

Forces News understands the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, a centre where junior soldiers go to train, will close, in line with the Government’s announcement.

The college welcomed its largest ever intake of recruits just two weeks ago.

The postponements to the assessments of potential Army newcomers come as an extra 10,000 military personnel were put on standby to bolster efforts in tackling the coronavirus outbreak. 

When added to the 10,000 British personnel already on higher readiness to respond to emergencies such as terrorist attacks, the total military commitment to COVID-19 stands at around 20,000.

Reservists are also now on standby.

More than 100 people in the UK have now died after testing positive for coronavirus.

To read more about the UK’s response to coronavirus and Military Aid to Civil Authorities, click here.