Almost 200 military personnel, including 100 drivers, will be deployed to distribute fuel, the government announced late Friday.

The British Army will begin fueling forecourts across the country starting Monday as the government makes its most drastic intervention to try to resolve a crisis that has gripped the nation.

Almost 200 military personnel, including 100 drivers, will be deployed to distribute fuel, the government said late Friday.

It also stepped up measures announced just a week ago to bring foreign workers to the UK, get 300 fuel drivers immediately and extend an emergency transport driver visa program until next year. Companies had said the earlier steps – which should expire at the end of the year – were insufficient as post-pandemic and post-Brexit immigration rules put pressure on the workforce.

The decisions are made as Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to reassure supporters at the Conservative Party’s annual conference that the government is in control of the situation. According to the Petrol Retailers Association, it will take weeks for supplies to return to normal.

The government said more fuel is being delivered to the pumps than it is being sold, reiterating that there is no national shortage.

“If people continue to return to their normal shopping habits, we will see smaller queues and prevent gas stations from closing,” said Steve Barclay, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, in the statement.

But the scenes on the streets of London on Friday were anything but normal. From Woodford New Road in the north of the city to Catford in the south, numerous gas stations had signs saying they were out of fuel.

And Steve McNamara, Secretary General of the London Taxi Drivers ’Association, said the situation was not improving.

“The vast majority of locations in London are still out of fuel,” he said in an interview. Where there is a resupply, “we get more reports of longer queues” and even a quarter of its members say they are unable to work.

This story was released from a news agency feed with no changes to the text. Only the headline was changed.

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