Coronavirus

COVID-19: How Will Germany's 'Lockdown Light' Affect British Forces?

The Deputy Commander of British Army Germany says training will go ahead "within the rules of all the COVID measures".

Germany is to face a new partial lockdown from Monday.

Known as "lockdown light", the measures are aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus amid a surge in the number of cases across the country.

Deputy Commander of British Army Germany, Lieutenant Colonel Danny Wild, has spoken to Forces News about what the new COVID-19 restrictions will mean for British Forces personnel in Germany.

"I don't think there will be the great change," he said.

Lt Col Wild explained that, where possible, they will "still have people working from home".

Training

People who work in Sennelager to support the training audience will be "as safe as they can, working with all the PPE regulations" put in place to ensure training is "in good order".

Currently, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment is a "bubble" at Sennelager Training Area.

The Deputy Commander of British Army Germany said: "We still have to train safely and within the rules of all the COVID measures."

The intention is that "training will still go ahead", but it may be "possibly a little bit slower" and "a little bit more elongated".

"The training will happen, the full curriculum, and it's going to start and it's going to finish," he added.

Life outside the training area

Changes have taken place outside the training area, where face coverings are compulsory on public transport and in specific public areas.

"In Paderborn, where we live here in Germany, there is a very, very strict wearing of masks rules within the town centre and moving in and around shops, which is very stringently policed," Lt Col Wild told Forces News.

He also urged members of the community to carry their masks at all times and "ring the Welfare Office" if they have any doubts.

Schools

In line with Germany's coronavirus measures, the Attenborough School and the nursery facilities on site will remain open during the new lockdown.

"Great news, not only for the children but the parents as well who work... our children are still going to be continuing education," the Deputy Commander of British Army Germany said.

Padre Germany Remembrance Sennelager Wreath 111119 CREDIT BFBS.
The Remembrance service at Sennelager in 2019, seen here, was very differerent from what it will look like this year.

Remembrance service

Because of the new restrictions, the Remembrance service has been "scaled down", Lieutenant Colonel Wild said.

However, he said that the Remembrance service "will never be cancelled".

"On the many operations that all the military community undertake, we always find time to honour and respect the fallen and our forebearers.

"Yes, it will be a small memorial service, [but] it will be held as normal in respect of the fallen of the 20th Armoured Brigade."

The Deputy Commander of British Army Germany explained that "about 25 people" will attend the memorial service and a piper will also be featured.

He added: "To have the Legion and the serving soldiers stood side by side together to at least, at least, pay our respects to our fallen on Remembrance Day."

Cover image: A library image of the Sennelager Training Area ranges.