A TfL worker closes the gates at Barbican Underground station on March 19, 2020 as public transport services in London are reduced in an effort to delay the spread of the novel coronavirus.
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02:36 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

As the coronavirus outbreak intensifies, the United Kingdom is shutting its schools from Monday – with some exceptions.

While most parents are trying to figure out what to do with their newly free children, the children of workers deemed critical to the country’s response to Covid-19 will be allowed to go to school.

The government said people who fall into this category should contact their local authority, which will allocate a local school for their children.

“We are grateful for the work of teachers and workers in educational settings for continuing to provide for the children of the other critical workers of our country,” the government said in a statement. “It is an essential part of our national effort to combat this disease,” it added.

Here are the jobs covered by the exception:

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 distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

Nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals necessary for delivering the government’s Covid-19 response plan.

Key public services

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 providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative roles essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits.

Food and other necessary goods

People involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example, hygiene supplies and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security

Police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractors and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defense and national security or 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 overseas.


Those keeping air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transportation running.

Utilities, communication and financial services

Staff needed to provide essential financial services, the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors, the information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemical, telecommunication, postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

Find the UK government’s full guidance here.