The Government has published a list of key workers deemed "essential" to the fight against coronavirus and whose children should stay in school.
Frontline health and social care staff, people involved in food production and delivery, and utility workers are among the list of workers – as are journalists.
See the full list below.
The Government published the list of "key workers" in the last few minutes. Their children will continue to be cared for at school amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The "key workers" list was expected to be published on Thursday, with those included anticipated to be NHS staff, police and supermarket delivery drivers.
But on Thursday evening, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, speaking on BBC Question Time, confirmed that the list would not be published until Friday – when most schools will shut their gates until further notice.
The Department for Education said: "If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision."
The list has been separated into eight categories, including health and social care, key public services – such as those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and journalists – and transport.
Those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery are also included, along with "administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response" in local and national government.
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Many English schools will shut their gates on Friday until further notice, as will nurseries, colleges and childminders.
Special schools are to remain open during the closures, while educational settings will continue to cater for vulnerable children and pupils whose parents are key workers.
In Scotland and Wales, all schools will have closed by Friday, and schools in Northern Ireland are due to shut from Monday.
GCSEs and A-levels in England and Wales will be cancelled – although Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there were plans for students to receive qualifications.
The Education Secretary has indicated guidance about exam cancellations will be issued on Friday, including how pupils unable to sit their exams will get their grades.
Gavin Williamson said the Government would work with schools, colleges and England's exams regulator, Ofqual, "to ensure children get the qualifications they need".
School leaders have said they expect that grades will be based on teacher assessment and evidence of internal assessment – such as mock exams – which could then be submitted to the exam boards to check.
The list in full
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 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.
- Boris Johnson
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