THE BRITISH Army is on standby to help carry out emergency door-to-door in Birmingham amid a surge in infections.
Coronavirus cases in the city hit 107.6 per 100,000 people asnew restrictions on households mixing were rolled out in a local lockdown.
Birmingham City Council and the Ministry of Defence are expected to finalise the deal next week, reports The Birmingham Mail.
Soldiers will be drafted in to help assist the council’s “drop-and-collect” door-to-door testing service.
Council leader Brigid Jones told a meeting of the West Midlands Combined Authority on Friday that the plan will involve going to people’s homes in high risk areas.
Ms Jones said army staff will not be acting in a “military” capacity or carrying out “enforcement”.
The troops will be there as “boots on the ground” bridging any gaps needed in services carried out by civilian staff.
Army personnel and council workers will offer up home tests to people even if they don’t have symptoms in an aggressive bid to control the virus.
She said: “We have been in talks with the military about them giving us some extra capacity for drop-and-collect.
“It’s very much in an extra capacity, feet-on-the-ground sense. It’s literally just to support the civilian effort side of things and we’ll be in a position next week to confirm whether or not they will be providing extra capacity and how that might be working.”
New restrictions were introduced in Brimingham on September 15 as separate households were banned from meeting in homes and gardens.