Full list of all people who can still go to work during the coronavirus lockdown

The Government announced yesterday (March 23) that the UK was to enter into ‘lockdown’ conditions to limit the spread of COVID-19 between people.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 8:21 am

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a plea to the public to stay indoors, listing only four reasons when those without symptoms of the disease are permitted to leave the house.

Alongside to shop for essential food, for medical reasons and to exercise once a day, one of these reasons was to go to work, if you have a job that you are unable to do from home.

There has been confusion, with many asking Johnson to offer more clarity on who should be going to work.

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A number of 'key workers' are still allowed to leave the house to go to work.

To offer more explanation, the government has given advice on who it is that should still be going to work if they are free from symptoms of coronavirus, and do not live with anybody who has symptoms.

If you cannot work from home, go to work to “keep the country running”

Health Minister Matt Hancock has said people should only go to work "where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home". He later said those unable to work from home should go to work "to keep the country running".

And the government said that the decision on whether to keep a business open ultimately lies with the employer.

And at yesterday’s press conference, Hancock took questions over whether or not construction workers should go to work.

He said construction workers could and should continue to go to work but must make sure that they remain two metres apart at all times.

It is not just ‘key workers’ who should go in to work

Alongside work that cannot be done from home, the government has also made a list of ‘key workers’, whose jobs require them to still go to work.

This list was made to explain who could still send their children to school. It is not a list of all the people who should go to work, as some people who are not ‘key workers’ will still need to go in if they cannot work from home and their workplace remains open.

Here is a list of the ‘key workers’

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes childcare, support 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.