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Army Foundation College: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 155353, tabled on 19 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what arrangements are in place at the Harrogate Army Foundation College to protect trainees and staff from covid-19.

Answered on

25 February 2021

Defence is mindful of our responsibilities to all staff and recruits across all our ongoing activities. I would like to assure you that the Army Foundation College (Harrogate) is and continues to be a COVID-19 compliant training establishment.

Staff and recruits are protected by stringent Force Health Protection measures. Apart from very limited occasions where safety elements of training cannot be effective by maintaining a 2m+ distance, staff remain socially distanced from recruit households as a matter of course. In addition, since January, Army Foundation College (Harrogate) have been part of an innovative Defence trial of asymptomatic testing; Junior Soldiers are tested on return to training, both on the day of their arrival and again seven days in to training. This asymptomatic testing has enabled the effective isolation of Junior Soldiers and actively reduced further infections. This testing is not used as a replacement for maintaining strict Force Health Protection measures, but as another layer in caring for these young recruits and in mitigating transmission to the wider community.