Office for Nuclear Regulation

Covid-19 cases and self isolation on UK defence sites

Date released
9 February 2021
Request number
Release of information under
Freedom of Information Act 2000

Information requested

I am happy to reduce the scope of my request (reference FOI202012056) to the confirmed cases within the workforce and the number of workers self-isolating at the sites, rather than the broader information. If that is not a sufficient reduction, would reducing the requests to only one of the sites sufficiently reduce the amount of work required? If so, I would like to request the information for Barrow only. If not, I would like to request the information for all sites over the period 1st March 2020 to 31st May 2020.

Information released

I confirm that under Section 1 of the FOIA, we do hold the information requested for UK defence nuclear licensed sites, but only between the dates of 25 March and 13 May 2020. Please find this information compiled in the attached Annex A.

Between these dates all UK defence nuclear licensed sites provided ONR with data on a regular basis relating to:

This data was initially submitted on a daily basis until mid-May as the pandemic progressed in its early stages. This data allowed us to monitor any early concerning changes and to respond accordingly, as well as providing assurance of the sites’ ability to perform safe operations and that they were applying the relevant public health guidance.

The data also formed the basis of periodic reporting to government departments to inform their respective situation reports. As numbers of cases and affected staff across the defence estate stabilised, ONR stood down the requirement for defence sites to report absence data as we judged there to be sufficient oversight from local inspection teams. 

Compiled in the attached Annex A is a summary of requested data, during the aforementioned period, for AWE sites; Devonport Royal Dockyard (licensed site); BAE Systems (licensed site); Rolls Royce (Derby) and Rosyth Royal Dockyard. The data represents the number of cases and individuals self-isolating at the time of reporting i.e. they are not cumulative. We did not request information relating to the Clyde Naval base because it is an Authorised Site; as you may know Authorised Sites do not require a nuclear site licence because of exemptions relating to specific activities, or a general disapplication to activities that are under the control of the Crown (the Ministry of Defence (MOD)).

Exemptions applied


PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable