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20 March 2020, 08:08 | Updated: 20 March 2020, 08:11
What is a key worker and which jobs allow for employees' children to stay at school after closures?
The government today (Friday 20 March) published the full list of key workers whose children will still be able to go to work after schools close this afternoon.
The list, posted by the Department Of Education, includes Health and social care workers, education and government, and education and childcare.
Education and childcare
"This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach."
Key public services
"This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting."
Local and national government
"This only includes those administrative 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
"This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines)."
Public safety and national security
"This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those 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 (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas."
"This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass."
Utilities, communication and financial services
"This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as 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 and waste disposal sectors."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all schools would close in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
"Looking at where we are now, we think now we must apply pressure on that upward curve by closing schools.
"I can announce today after schools shut their doors from Friday afternoon they will remain shut until further notice."
The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson later said in the House Of Commons: "After schools close their gates on Friday afternoon they will remain closed until further notice.
"This will be for all children except to those of key workers and children who are most vulnerable.
"The scientific evidence shows these settings are safe for this small number of children to continue attending."But asking others to stay away will go towards helping us slow the spread of this virus."