Around 2,000 armed forces personnel have arrived in Merseyside in Liverpool as six new testing centres are to start testing today.
The city is starting a pilot scheme for everyone who lives and works in the city to be tested, even if they have no symptoms.
The personnel will be able to deliver hundreds of thousands of tests, and soldiers were seen entering Pontins Southport Holiday Park on Thursday.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “This is an incredible opportunity to turbocharge our efforts to reduce coronavirus in the city.
“We are excited to be leading on this project, supported by the Department of Health and Social Care.
“Let’s all get tested, for our families, our mates, our Liverpool and set an example to the country and the world.”
Director of Public Health for Liverpool Matt Ashton said: “The aim of this project is to quickly identify people who have the virus and reduce transmission substantially.
“This exciting mass testing programme simply means asking everyone to volunteer to be tested, and for those who test positive to self-isolate straight away and prevent others from getting it.
“This is a pilot scheme and we won’t get everything right, but it is a huge chance to drive down transmission rates and get life back to normal more quickly.”