As part of the decision to close schools as of the end of the day today, March 20, the Government has outlined which professions fall into the “key worker” roles.
Under the health and social care category, the Department for Education stated that “producers and distributors of medical equipment” is considered a key role.
In full, the announcement said: “It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
“Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.”
It continued: “If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision.”
On health and social care, the department detailed: “This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.”
The other critical sectors are listed as follows:
- Education and childcare
- Key public services
- Local and national government
- Food and other necessary goods
- Public safety and national security
- Utilities, communication and financial services
It concluded: “If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.”