Coronavirus Key Worker Definitions

Coronavirus Key worker: official list of UK personnel who can still send children to school

When discussing Coronavirus Key Workers are defined as those working to provide essential goods and services during the Coronavirus pandemic, their children are exempt from general closure of schools.

The Department for Education has published a list of “key workers” whose children will be prioritised for schooling during general closures because of coronavirus. Schools are being asked to continue to provide care for a number of children but will be closed to the majority from Monday 23 March.

Health and Social Care

Frontline health and social care staff such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, as well as 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, teaching staff and social workers.

Key Public Services

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

Administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services, including payment of benefits.

Food and Other Necessary Goods

Those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food and other necessary goods.

Safety and National Security

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


Those who will keep air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response.

Utilities, Communication and Financial Services

Staff required 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.

If you have an employee whose child is at home because they are excluded from school please read my article Coronavirus and Time Off Work to check what options you have.

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Coronavirus Key Worker Definitions