Withdraw military from non-essential overseas postings, Labour urges
Armed forces personnel should be withdrawn from non-essential overseas postings to places where it is easier to protect them from coronavirus, Labour has urged.
Shadow defence secretary John Healey also called for the military to be given access to coronavirus tests, with priority given to those serving as part of the “Covid Support Force”.
In a letter to the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Mr Healey said test results should be published, and also urged him to postpone large-scale training exercises to protect personnel.
His call comes after more than 600 members of the crew of a French aircraft carrier and accompanying vessels tested positive for coronavirus, while the American navy said a sailor who tested positive for Covid-19 on the USS Theodore Roosevelt has died.
The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is reportedly due to set sail on a training exercise later this month.
Mr Healey said: “Coronavirus is showing again how our armed forces help keep us safe. It is vital the Government does everything it can to keep them safe too.
“Ministers should step up measures to protect military personnel from coronavirus, including making testing available and publishing the results, postponing large-scale training events wherever needed and supporting personnel deployed overseas.”