Am I classed as a key worker?
There has been quite a bit of confusion around who a key worker is and isn’t during the coronavirus pandemic.
Although there has been a lot of support for NHS workers at this time, they are not the only key workers listed. We’ve taken a look at all of the government guidance regarding this and the following list of workers are classed as key workers at this time:
- Health and social care workers
- Education and childcare
- Food and other necessary goods
- Key public service workers
- Local and national government
- Utility workers
- Public safety and national security
For more information about key workers, the Telegraph website has a complete list.
Not a key worker, but looking to help?
If you’re not a key worker, but you’d like to help out, take a look at our tips about how you can volunteer during the pandemic.
Am I at risk if I take public transport? How?
There has been a reduction in the number of trains and buses during the pandemic, and the government has advised against all but essential travel. However, for some key workers this is the only method they have to get to work.
Coronavirus is spread when an infected person coughs, spreading the virus into the air. It can also be spread through touching surfaces that have the virus on and then touching your face. To ensure you stay safe on public transport, it’s vital that you keep 2 metres away from other people, and that you follow the government’s advice about handwashing and coronavirus hygiene.
There will always be a greater risk of infection in public areas, and if you are concerned about catching the virus on public transport, it may be worth looking into another commuting option.
How can I get to work safely?
If you’re worried about using public transport, there are a few different options to consider to help you get to work safely.
Moped, scooter or motorcycle
If you’ve already got a moped or motorcycle licence, this is another great option for getting around during the pandemic. Being on your bike is also a good way to ensure that you are social distancing yourself from everyone else, and will be useful after the lockdown has lifted but social distancing measures are still in place.
E-Bikes are a great option for getting you to and from work while social distancing. Bike shops are classified as an essential service during this time, and therefore you can go and purchase an E-Bike in store, or you can also order these online.
If being on the road on a bike seems daunting, now is a great time to face those fears, with a reduction of 70% in road traffic. Make sure you have adequate electric cycle insurance to provide the cover you need.
Another way to ensure that you stay safe is by hiring a car. Avis are currently offering discounted car hire for key workers. This alternative travel option will mean you can effectively social distance during your commute.
Free travel for NHS workers
If you work for the NHS and are still looking to commute using public transport, it’s worth checking whether there are any discounts or free services available. The Independent recently wrote an article outlining free public transport services for NHS workers.
Staying away from home
The government has issued advice for accommodation providers to close for commercial use. However, many hotels and B&Bs are being used as part of the response to support key workers or vulnerable groups. This means, if you’re a key worker and you need to stay away from home for whatever reason, whether it’s because you live with a vulnerable person or you need to be closer to work, you can still stay in their accommodation.
If you’re in need of a temporary place to stay, it’s definitely worth contacting your local hotels and B&Bs to see if they can accommodate you.
Discounts for NHS workers
The community response to the coronavirus outbreak has been amazing, and a lot of places are reaching out to say thanks to NHS workers, with discounts and special offers.
You can find a list of national discounts for NHS workers on the NHS Employers website.
We will be trying our utmost to update this article as and when any changes are made to keep you up to date with the latest information. If you know of any other helpful websites and resources please pop them in the comments section below.
Please note: always check with official guidelines as details can quickly change or could be misinterpreted.