Once again, England has been plunged into a strict national lockdown.

There are only a limited number of reasons you can legally leave your home, and non-essential shops have been forced to close.

Pubs and restaurants can only serve takeaways (with no alcohol), while gyms, hairdressers and entertainment venues have been forced to completely close once again.

Schools are shut, with only vulnerable children and the children of key workers allowed to attend. All other pupils will go back to learning remotely at home.

The list of who counts as a critical worker during this lockdown is very similar to previous lockdowns.

Full list of key workers

According to the government, the following people count as key workers:

  • Health and social care workers - 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
Doctor and an assistant perform surgery in the operating room
Medical staff count as key workers during the lockdown
  • Teachers, school support staff, childcare staff, social workers and other specialist educational professionals
  • Those essential to the running of the justice system

  • Religious staff

  • Charities and workers delivering key frontline service

  • Those responsible for the management of the deceased

  • Journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting

  • Essential public services and those working on the Covid-19 response in local and national government

  • Food processing, production, distribution, sale and delivery workers (including supermarket staff and delivery drivers)

  • Police and support staff

  • Firefighters

  • Border security, National Crime Agency staff, contractors and Armed Forces personnel

  • Transport workers - This includes those who keep air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport operating during the coronavirus pandemic

  • 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 coronavirus (COVID-19) response

  • 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

  • Waste disposal sectors

If you do not count as a key worker, you can not send your children to school and they must learn at home.

Do both parents need to be key workers?

No - only one parent needs to be a key worker for a child to go to school.