Guidance

COVID Support Force: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response

Military personnel are supporting public services across the UK to assist with the response to COVID-19. This page has the latest information on the MOD’s activities.

Examples of activities that the military are undertaking can be found below. This page will be updated with the latest activity on a regular basis.

Latest News

COVID Support Force

Since 18 March 2020, the MOD has responded to 430 COVID-19 Military Aid to Civilian Authority (MACA) requests. You can see the story so far, including what activities the military have undertaken on the previous COVID Support Force page.

As of 22 October 2021, there were around 550 military personnel committed to assist with 13 open COVID-19 MACA requests. This number is kept under constant review and military personnel will be available to support on tasks which meet the MACA principles. There are around 4,000 personnel on standby who can be called upon for COVID-19 tasks.

Vaccine Support

Since 2020, Defence have continued to support efforts to vaccinate people across the UK. In Scotland, around 200 personnel were deployed as vaccinators in early 2020. Defence provided around 190 personnel to support Wales’ Health Boards establish and operate vaccine centres. Defence medics deployed to Northern Ireland to support the vaccine rollout and MOD have also helped to deliver thousands of vaccine doses to overseas territories including Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.

Defence continue to assist NHS England’s Vaccine Task Force based in Skipton House and previously stood up 42 teams of 6 people in England as part of the Vaccine Quick Reaction Force.

Medically trained personnel have supported the vaccine rollout across the UK. MOD Crown Copyright.

Medically trained personnel have supported the vaccine rollout across the UK. MOD Crown Copyright.

Support to hospitals

In early 2020, hundreds of defence medics deployed to hospitals across the UK to help relieve pressure on health care services. The defence medics joined the 1,600 personnel embedded within the NHS on a long-term basis.

There are currently around 115 personnel deployed to Northern Ireland to support hospitals in Belfast and around 90 personnel have deployed to NHS Lanarkshire and Borders to provide additional resources for a short time.

Defence medics deployed to hospitals across the UK.

Defence medics deployed to hospitals across the UK. MOD Crown Copyright.

Assisting with the National Testing Effort

The Armed Forces have supported the UK’s Covid-19 testing efforts including programmes in Birmingham, Nottingham, Merthyr Tydfil, Liverpool, Kent, Manchester and in Scotland.

Over 110 military personnel are currently deployed to support mobile testing units in Scotland run by the Scottish Ambulance Service Board. Armed Forces personnel are primarily working around Glasgow and Edinburgh to help identify and break chains of transmission.

Other support

Military personnel continue to assist ambulance trusts including the Scottish Ambulance Service and Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Defence have previously provided support to ambulance services in England.

110 personnel are currently on task in Wales, driving ambulances under non-emergency conditions. In Scotland, 114 personnel have deployed and are expected to be on task until late November.

Armed Forces personnel are supporting the Scottish Ambulance Service. MOD Crown Copyright.

Published 30 October 2020
Last updated 22 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated: COVID Support Force, the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as at 22 October 2021.

  2. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 21 May 2021.

  3. Updated the: MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 26 March 2021.

  4. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 19 March 2021.

  5. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 5 March 2021.

  6. Updated the page content as of 26 February 2021.

  7. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 19 February 2021.

  8. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 12 February 2021.

  9. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 5 February 2021.

  10. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 29 January 2021.

  11. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 22 January 2021.

  12. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 15 January 2021.

  13. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 8 January 2021.

  14. Added information under the 'vaccine support' heading.

  15. Updated the latest news section with latest figures and added new information on testing in schools and colleges and traffic/freight in Kent.

  16. Updated the latest new section and added new information on testing in Kent and the support provided to the Welsh Ambulance Service.

  17. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 18 December 2020.

  18. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 11 December 2020.

  19. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 4 December 2020.

  20. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 27 November 2020.

  21. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 20 November 2020.

  22. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 17 November 2020.

  23. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 13 November 2020.

  24. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 10 November 2020.

  25. Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 6 November 2020.

  26. First published.