Anonymous Army recruits

Coronavirus: Which Jobs Are On The Key Workers List?

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

Anonymous Army recruits

Schools are closing across England after a third national lockdown was introduced due to soaring coronavirus infections.

The move means the vast majority of pupils will now have to learn remotely until at least February half term.

However, schools and colleges will remain open for vulnerable children and those of key workers. Nurseries and other early years settings will also stay open in England.

Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker are allowed to attend school or college.

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

They are described by the Government as those whose work is critical to the country's coronavirus and EU transition response. 

The full list of critical workers is below:

Health and social care

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

Education and childcare

  • Childcare staff
  • Support and teaching staff
  • Social workers
  • Specialist education professionals.

Key public services

  • Essential justice system staff
  • Religious staff
  • Essential charity staff delivering key frontline services
  • Anyone responsible for managing the deceased
  • Journalists and broadcasters providing public service broadcasting.
Armed Forces personnel have played a vital role in the UK's coronavirus response, including supporting a mass testing programme in Liverpool (Picture: MOD).

Local and national government

  • Occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response
  • Occupations essential to the effective delivery of and response to EU transition
  • Anyone delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in Government agencies and arms-length bodies, or the certification or checking of goods for import and export (including animals, plants, foods).

Food and other necessary goods

  • Anyone 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 pandemicand the delivery of the EU transition
  • 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 during the COVID-19 response and the EU transition, including those working onand supporting the operation of critical 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.

Find out how the Armed Forces have been supporting the UK's response to the coronavirus pandemic here.