Anonymous Royal Marines

COVID: UK Military Eligible To Test Daily Instead Of Isolating If 'Pinged'

Personnel will be able to take daily COVID-19 tests rather than self-isolating if they come into contact with someone who has coronavirus.

Anonymous Royal Marines

UK Armed Forces personnel will be able to take daily COVID-19 tests instead of self-isolating if they come into contact with someone who has coronavirus, the Government has announced.

Defence staff are among more key workers who will be eligible for the scheme under the plans, with 1,200 new workplace sites introduced in a bid to avoid disruption to crucial services as cases soar, with several sectors warning of staff shortages caused by the 'pingdemic'.

The announcement of more testing sites, which brings the total number to 2,000, comes after ministers on the COVID operations sub-committee of Cabinet met on Monday.

The scheme uses lateral flow tests to allow eligible workers who have been pinged by the app or called by NHS Test and Trace to continue working, provided they test negative each day.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "Our Armed Forces have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic, ensuring operations and training at home and abroad continue while at the same time providing round the clock support to the nation's response to COVID.

"Expanding the daily contact testing scheme is hugely welcome, allowing our personnel to continue that vital work across the UK and abroad."

Essential defence workers were last week added to the Government list of 16 sectors able to swap self-isolation for daily testing when they're 'pinged' by the NHS Test and Trace app.

As of 9 July this year, 10,416 UK Armed Forces personnel had received positive test results since the coronavirus outbreak began – a rise of 914 since 25 June.

The latest figures released by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) also show that 283,633 defence personnel have been tested for COVID-19.

It was confirmed this month that 54,742 members of the British military are yet to receive a coronavirus vaccine, while 5,200 UK Armed Forces personnel were self-isolating at the start of the month.