Stay at home, help save lives and help the NHS: COVID-19 advice and information.

Coronavirus: Are you a key worker?

Coronavirus: Are you a key worker?

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 6:46am 20th March 2020. (Updated at 7:24am 20th March 2020)

3 minute read

The government has published its list of occupations expected to work through the crisis if possible.

The Department for Education has this morning (Friday 20th March) published the details of who they class as "key workers" deemed "essential" to the COVID-19 response.

Parents working in these kinds of roles will be able to send their children to school to continue to be cared for amid the pandemic.

child playing Pixabay
Schools are set to close after today, but children of key workers can still be looked after by teaching staff


This includes frontline health and social care staff - such as: 

  • doctors
  • nurses
  • midwives
  • paramedics
  • support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector

It also includes people working in supply chains, including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment.


That includes nursery staff, teachers and social workers.

The Department of Education has said these workers are required to help deliver their plans.

school generic drawing jpg
Lessons can be provided to the children of key workers, but many others will be set learning to do from home online


There's a list of workers who deemed important to keep the country running as best we can while the coronavirus crisis is ongoing - that includes: 

  • Police
  • Fire and Rescue Services
  • Those involved in running the justice system
  • People responsible for managing the deceased
  • Journalists and broadcasters provided public service information
  • Local and national Government staff involved in essential public services, like payment of benefits
  • Waste disposal workers
  • Those responsible for food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery
  • Armed forces personnel
  • Ministry of Defence civilian staff
  • Prison and probation workers
Supermarket Shelves
People involved in food supply are on the list of key workers


That includes those who will keep "air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response".


That's people working in sectors like: 

  • Oil
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Sewerage
  • Civil nuclear
  • Chemical
  • Telecommunications (including essential IT infrastructure)
  • Postal services
  • Bank and building society staff 


The new guidelines of which children are able to continue going to school includes those who have a social worker or and Education, Health and Care Plans.

That's a legal document that describes a child's special educational needs and the support they require.

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