TWELVE British Army soldiers have tested over 2,000 people at a Covid-19 testing facility in Gloucester.

The soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh are delivering a coronavirus mobile testing unit in the town, providing a drive through test service to eligible local people.

Working closely with the Gloucestershire Local Resilience Forum they are collaborating with fire and rescue staff and police officers to deliver critical testing where required.

The provision of testing locally supports the community by allowing isolating essential workers to return safely to work.

The site is located at the Oxstalls Sports Park in the heart of the town and has drawn large numbers of people from rural areas as well as Gloucester residents.

Sarah Scott, chair of Gloucestershire’s Strategic Coordinating Group said: “With testing being such an important part of how we will manage further spread of Covid-19, having a mobile unit in the county is really welcomed, and now for an extended period of time, until the end of Sunday this week. I want to say a big thank you to everyone, locally, regionally and nationally, who played a part in securing the facility for the county and for everyone who has booked a slot and turned up to be tested.

“We are working hard to try and secure a permanent government testing facility in the county, so the essential work of testing more and more of the local population can continue.”

As part of the response to COVID-19, the Ministry of Defence has helped to create a network of mobile testing units, which will travel the country to reach eligible people at sites where there is a demand for testing.

Having received training from NHS experts and taken ownership of specially converted vehicles, soldiers have been providing testing facilities across the country in support of the national testing effort.

The units have been designed to clinical standards by army engineers and can be easily set up in under 20 minutes.

Military personnel are currently operating multiple mobile sites across the South West region.

The sites are on a smaller scale than the regional testing sites and are to make testing accessible to the whole population.

Sixty of their Royal Welsh colleagues have already joined doctors and nurses at the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Bristol.

Other specially trained personnel from the regiment are driving ambulances in support of South West Ambulance Service Trust.

People wishing to check their eligibility and book a test should visit