An outbreak of Covid-19 has hit Sandhurst after officer cadets reportedly breached social distancing rules.

Nearly 50 positive cases have apparently been recorded among trainees at the prestigious military academy in Sandhurst, Bracknell Forest.

Commanders are said to be furious after recruits from different “work bubbles” socialised together, the Daily Mail said.

A spokesman from the military academy said “decisive action” has been taken.

Cadets have reportedly been banned from using gym facilities, taking unsupervised exercise, smoking breaks, visits at the academy gates and drinking alcohol.

Most of the positive cases are said to have came from the 750 recruits, but four staff also caught the virus.

The outbreak has led to the cancellation of military exercises and some officer cadets could fail to complete their courses.

Lieutenant Colonel James Lane told rule-breakers they faced serious punishment, according to the Mail.

He reportedly said: “Due to a failure of adherence to FHPI (forces health protection instructions) and with numerous platoons affected by the current mass outbreak within the academy, the below orders are to be enacted to protect officer cadets, staff, families and contractors and are designed to break the current cycle of spread.

“Action will be taken against any staff or cadets who do not adhere to these measures. The standard punishment for an officer cadet who transgresses is to be three work parades and for a member of staff three additional duties.

“Those in isolation must not enter the dining room. This must be made clear to all to ensure everyone understands the potential catastrophic consequences of this irresponsible action.

“The following are to be implemented with immediate effect: Exercise Allenby’s Advance, cancelled.”

He said colleges are “out of bounds”, except for those who work in them and interaction between officer cadets and friends and family at the academy gates “is to cease”.

Lt Col Lane reportedly added that gyms will shut and alcohol is prohibited for officer cadets, saying “we are now dry”.

The outbreak has reportedly affected food supplies at Sandhurst, as trainees were declined when asking for takeaway pizzas to be ordered.

Sandhurst, established in 1812, is renowned for its standard of military training, with former cadets including princes William and Harry.

Brigadier James Carr-Smith, Commander Sandhurst Group, said: “We have taken decisive action to put in place additional measures following an increase in positive Covid-19 tests and isolations at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

“By acting swiftly, we expect these measures will stop the spread of the virus and safeguard critical training.

“We take the health and wellbeing of our personnel very seriously and have lateral flow testing, robust social distancing and hygiene measures in place to protect personnel and prevent further infections.”

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman declined to comment further or dispute the reports.