KEY POINTS

  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlines new strict measures
  • Everyone must stay home and go out only under four circumstances
  • Essential workers are allowed to travel to and from work

Current government guidelines call for people to stay in their homes. They will be allowed to leave only under specific conditions. These include if they will be shopping for basic necessities like food and medicine, and traveling to and from work. The latter, however, is subject to a pre-condition, which is, only if such work cannot be performed from home.

What Is Essential Work?

A lot of people have been asking about essential work. Under the new guidelines, the government defines social work as something critical to coronavirus outbreak response. The government also provided a list of sectors considered critical. These include health and social care, education and childcare, and other key public services.

Social And Health Care

According to the UK government’s website, those who belong to the health and social care category include doctors, midwives, nurses, social workers, paramedics, care workers, and other frontline care staff. The definition also included volunteers that provide assistance.

This category also includes support and specialist staff needed to maintain the country’s health and social care sector. Those working in companies and industries under the health and social care supply, which include producers and distributors of medicines, as well as medical and personal protective equipment, are included.

Childcare and Education

Workers under this category perform childcare roles. Social workers, teaching and support staff, as well as special education professionals also belong in this category.

Important Public Services

This category involves those who are working and run the justice system. Religious staff and those who are primarily responsible for the management of the deceased belong to this category. It also includes workers from charities that work on the frontline, as well as broadcasters and journalists.

National And Local Government

Persons under this category include those who are occupying administrative positions with work linked to the current outbreak. It also includes those who are providing essential public services like benefit payments.

Food and Essential Goods

Workers and personnel in this category work in the food production industry, as well as in its sale and delivery. Other vital goods like veterinary medicine and hygiene production are also categorized by the government as essential work.

National Security And Public Safety

According to the guidelines displayed on the Government’s website, persons belonging to this category include the Ministry of Defence civilian workers, contractors, and armed forces personnel. It also includes the police and their support staff. The task of support staff, civilian workers, and contractors are recognized as essential work only if the job is critical to the delivery of national security and key defense outputs. It should also be essential to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Also included under this category are fire and rescue service personnel, which include their support staff. Workers and personnel that have roles with the National Crime Agency, as well as those that maintain border security and other national security tasks are included. Prison and probation staff also belongs under this category.

Transportation, Communication, Utility, And Financial Services

During the outbreak, persons that work in the air, water, road, and rail transport routes are recognized as essential workers. Waste disposal personnel, postal and delivery providers, 111 and 999 phone operators are also classified by the government as essential workers.

Personnel working in the chemical, civil nuclear, and telecommunication sectors are also considered as essential, as well as those working in gas, electric, oil, and water utilities. Financial services, on the other hand, is an umbrella term that denotes those working in banks as financial staff.