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Coronavirus: Which Jobs Are On The Government's 'Key Workers' List?

The Government has confirmed which roles are considered "critical" to the COVID-19 response.

London city skyline

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has confirmed its list of 'key workers' - people with particular jobs whose children will be prioritised for education provision, if they cannot be cared for at home.

Where both parents' work is listed, children should be able to continue attending a school, as closures take place across the country.

The Government has advised that "every child who can be safely cared for at home should be".

Military personnel, Ministry of Defence (MOD) civilian staff and contractors are among those on the list.

Anyone who believes they are a 'key worker' is advised by the Government to confirm with their employer that their specific role is necessary for the continuation of the respective public service.

The full list of key workers is below:

Health and social care

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Midwives
  • Paramedics
  • Social workers and care workers
  • Frontline health and social care staff (including volunteers).
  • Specialist staff required to maintain the health and social care sector
  • Workers part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

  • Nursery and teaching staff

  • Social workers
  • Specialist education professionals

Key public services

  • Essential justice system staff
  • Religious staff
  • Essential charity staff
  • Anyone responsible for managing the deceased
  • Journalists and broadcasters providing public service broadcasting
Twenty thousand British personnel are now at higher readiness.

Local and national government

  • Occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms-length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods

  • Those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery
  • Workers essential to the provision of other key goods (including hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security

  • Police and support staff

  • MOD civilians and contractors

  • Military personnel considered critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Fire and rescue service employees and support staff

  • National Crime Agency staff

  • Staff maintaining border security

  • Prison and probation staff

  • Other national security roles, including those overseas.

Anonymous RAF medic with US Black Hawk helicopter in the background
Military personnel are among those roles considered 'key workers' (Picture: MOD).


  • Workers who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

  • Staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)
  • Oil, gas, electricity and water sector (including sewerage) workers
  • Information technology and data infrastructure sector workers
  • Those crucial to primary industry supplies continuing during the COVID-19 response
  • 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)
  • Postal services and delivery
  • Payments providers
  • Waste disposal sectors

For more information, click here.

To read more about the UK’s response to coronavirus and Military Aid to Civil Authorities, click here.

Cover image: PA.