Who are Key Workers?

Who are Key Workers – and what businesses remain open?

Due to the current Covid-19 outbreak, the Government has announced strict measures on when the British public can leave their homes, which are as follows:

  • They are shopping for basic necessities, once a day
  • one form of exercise a day – (a run, walk, or cycle) – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where absolutely necessary and this cannot be done from home

Schools are also closed apart from for children of key workers. Key workers are people whose jobs are vital to public health and safety during the coronavirus lockdown.


But what classes as a key worker? We have the full list here.

Health and social care workers

All NHS staff, including administrative and cleaning workers. Frontline staff such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, as well as those working in supply chains including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Education and childcare workers

Nursery, teachers (including teaching assistants) and social workers. However, schools are only open to children of key workers. Most schools are now closed and children are at home.

Food workers and other supplying other necessary goods

Food chain workers, including those involved in production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of goods. All workers in supermarkets are Key Workers.

Key public service workers

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 workers

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.

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.


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

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