Biggleswade Mobile Testing Unit, Tuesday 2nd June 2020
Oil on canvas by Peter Spens, 2020.
British Army personnel working at a drive-in testing centre in Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, 2020.
Operation RESCRIPT, a Military Aid to the Civil Authorities operation in the United Kingdom, was initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic which began in Spring 2020.
In May 2020, Peter Spens was commissioned by the National Army Museum to paint the Army's response to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May 2020, a temporary coronavirus drive-through testing centre was set up at Biggleswade Hospital in Bedfordshire. This was one of 50 Regional Test Sites that were set up around the country by the Department of Health and Social Care to test for Covid-19. The testing centre in Biggleswade was manned by the Army from 1 May 2020.
Anyone eligible to be tested at the mobile site had to arrange an appointment on the national booking website before arriving at the centre. Initially, only certain categories of people were eligible for testing. This included NHS or other essential workers (and members of their households), or people over the age of 65 with the symptoms of the respiratory disease, COVID-19.
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National Army Museum, Army At Home gallery