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Can I go to work? The list of key workers and essential roles, explained

As part of an unprecedented lockdown of British life, the Government has announced that schools will close except for the children of “key workers”. On Monday evening it was also announced that people should only leave their homes to go to work where it is absolutely necessary. But who is classed a key worker?

The Department of Education has published a full list of roles that the Government considers to be “key”.

So here’s what we know so far.

Who are key workers?

Key workers are people whose jobs are vital to public health and safety during the coronavirus lockdown. Because their work is so vital, the Government is keen to ensure that they are able to carry out their jobs with as little restriction as possible. This includes being able to put their children in school and use necessary transport links.

The list includes:

Health and social care

All NHS staff, including administrative and cleaning workers. Frontline health and social care staff such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, plus support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector.

In addition it includes those working in supply chains including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

Nursery, teachers – including teaching assistants – and social workers.

Food and other necessary goods

Food chain workers, including those involved in production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of goods.

Key public services

Postal workers, those required to run the justice system, religious staff, as well as those responsible for managing the deceased, and journalists providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

Local and national government workers in admin roles “essential to the effective delivery” of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services, including payment of benefits.

Utility workers

Staff needed to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running. Staff in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors. Those in postal services and those working to provide essential financial services.

Public safety and national security

Police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel, fire and rescue staff, and workers responsible for border security, prisons and probation.

Transport

Those keeping air, water, road, and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating.

Read the full list on the Department's website.