Ninety military medics have been sent to schools to trial COVID-19 tests that produce results in 30 minutes.
The personnel are working in three schools in Lewisham, south London, Poole in Dorset and Salisbury in Wiltshire, testing 1,500 pupils and their teachers over three days.
The antigen test can be processed without being sent to a laboratory, unlike PCR tests which are currently used by the NHS.
The health service aims to return test results within 48 hours of a swab being taken, or within 72 hours for a home test.
It comes as the UK looks to strengthen its testing capacity, with Heathrow Airport currently running a testing facility for passengers flying to Hong Kong, with results taking around an hour.
The Armed Forces have played a key role in the country's testing capacity since the coronavirus outbreak, helping to run mobile testing units across the UK.
Most recently, more than 100 RAF personnel were deployed to Birmingham to help with the city council's Drop and Collect initiative – dropping off and picking up test kits at homes in high-risk areas.
Cover image: PA.