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Certain retail staff to be designated as "key workers" as school shutdown begins

Lauretta Roberts
18 March 2020

Delivery drivers and certain retail staff will be among those designated as "key workers" and able to send their children to school amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus schools shut-down.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that schools in England will close from Friday until further notice, following similar announcements made by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland earlier today.

The children of NHS staff, care workers, police and other vital workers will be allowed to continue to attend school and Johnson has said children of food delivery drivers and certain retail staff will be included in that group.

It has been reported that the Government may implement a system of "skeleton schools" to teach the children of key workers so they may not attend their usual school.

Johnson has said that if schools had already closed, the Government has the power require them to re-open to support key workers and he believed those powers extended to private schools as well.

He would not be drawn on how long he expected the school shut-down to last but parents have been warned not to assume children will be able to return after the Easter holidays. The Summer term is due to start for most schools on 20 April.

Meanwhile Johnson has not ruled out putting London on a virtual complete lockdown from this weekend after people were still seen attending pubs and cafes in the capital, following strong advice not to do so earlier in the week.

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