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Covid-19 Key-workers

Are you a COVID-19 key-worker?

With the schools closing as of the 20th March 2020 and parents being asked to keep children home wherever possible. Care will still be available for children of COVID-19 key-workers and children classed as vulnerable.

These measures have been introduced to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus spreading.

Key-workers are classed as those that are critical to the COVID-19 response and include not just NHS staff. In fact the list also includes workers involved in food production, journalists and essential finance employees.

The Department for Education has some key principles which you should follow:

  • If children can be kept home then they should be
  • If a child is vulnerable or has a parent who is a key-worker then education provision will be available to them
  • Parents should not rely on grandparents or family/friends who have underlying health conditions for childcare
  • Children should observe the same social distancing rules as adults

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response (you are a COVID-19 key-worker) or you work in one of the sectors listed below, your children will be prioritised for education provision. It is still advised that if your child can be kept at home safely then they should be.

Health and social care

This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers and other front line health and social care staff and also includes volunteers. Those employed in the health and social care supply chain for example- producers and distributors of medicine and medical equipment.

Education and childcare

Including teaching and nursery staff, social workers and those employed in special education.

Key public services

Journalists and broadcasters providing public service broadcasting, religious staff, those responsible to the running of the justice system. Those delivering key frontline services.

Local and National Government

Only those essential to the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services, for example benefit payments are classed as key-workers.

Food and necessary goods

This includes workers in food production, processing, distribution and sale as well as delivery. Also those essential to the provision of other key goods, hygienic supplies and veterinary medicines.

Public safety and national security

Including police officers and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractors and armed services who are critical to delivering defence, national security and those essential to COVID-19 response. Fire and rescue employees and support staff, National Crime Agency staff, border control workers and prison and probation staff are also included.


This includes those that keep the air, water, road and rail systems operating for both passenger and freight services and those that work on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial

This includes Utility workers in the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (this includes sewerage).

Postal and delivery workers, payment providers and waste disposal are also classed as key-workers.

Information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services)

Staff essential for financial services provision. Among these are bank and building society workers and those employed in the financial market.

If you fall into one of these categories, confirm with your employer that you are a COVID-19 key-worker. If you do not fall into these categories then follow the governments guidance on self isolation and social distancing.

Vulnerable children are classed as:

  • those supported by social car
  • with safeguarding and welfare needs
  • on child protection plans
  • have a disablility
  • have an EHC plan (education health and care plan).

If your school is closed then contact you local authority who will help direct you to a local school in your area that your child/children can attend.

Read our blog on help for businesses during COVID-19.