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Government Publishes Full List Of Critical Services Exempt From Self-Isolation

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Government Publishes Full List Of Critical Services Exempt From Self-Isolation

The government has published the full list of critical services whereby employees will not have to isolate, with those involved in food production and supply, border control, and medicines among those who are allowed to avoid quarantining if pinged.

The rules apply in England, but not in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, where coronavirus restrictions are controlled by their respective devolved governments.

The Department of Health has said that workers within the allowed industries will be able to leave isolation in order to 'undertake critical work' as record numbers of people were asked to self-isolate during the last week.

The new policy will continue until 16 August, when Covid-19 measures will be reviewed.

The guidance states that 'this is not a blanket exemption for all workers in a sector' and only applies if the employer has received a letter from the government confirming their exemption.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The full list is as follows:

  • Energy
  • Civil nuclear
  • Digital infrastructure
  • Food production and supply
  • Waste
  • Water
  • Veterinary medicines
  • Essential chemicals
  • Essential transport
  • Medicines
  • Medical devices
  • Clinical consumable supplies
  • Emergency services
  • Border control
  • Essential defence
  • Local government

There may also be some 'exceptional cases' in which critical roles within other industries might be allowed to exempt staff on an individually assessed basis.

Figures showed that 618,903 people were told to isolate through the NHS Covid-19 app in the week up until 14 July, which is a new record.

Announcing the plans earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We will protect crucial services including the staffing of our hospitals and our care homes, the supplies of food, water, electricity and medicines, the running of our trains, the protection of our borders and the defence of our realm, by making sure that a very small number of named, fully vaccinated, critical workers are able to leave their isolation solely for the work I have described."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The government has also presented conflicting messages over the process by which the exemption should be sought, with Downing Street suggesting on Tuesday that there would not be a 'list' of workers that would be exempt, and businesses would have to apply.

However, there is clearly now a list, and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said this morning: "I don't think it's a question of applying for this."

Downing Street then later said firms would have to apply individually for exemption, and now Johnson has confirmed that it would apply to a 'very small number of named, fully vaccinated critical workers'.

From 16 August, as it stands, no children or double vaccinated adults will have to isolate in England.

Cases continue to rise sharply.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: government, UK News, Pandemic, England, Coronavirus, Politics, Covid-19

Tom Wood
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