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  6. COVID-19: Key worker status

COVID-19: Key worker status

The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. These are children who are vulnerable and ‘key workers’ who are critical to the COVID-19 response.

The guidance states that a key worker includes:

‘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 distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.’

The Department of Health and Social Care has advised us that osteopaths can ‘make a decision for themselves based on the guidance that has been published’. If you are an osteopath and you consider that the work that you are doing falls into this definition as ‘frontline health and social care staff… required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector’ then you can regard yourself as a key worker for the purposes of this guidance.

In this case, please follow the principles in the guidance closely:

‘Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors …, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision’.

Please note that there is no guarantee of educational provision as that will depend on the decisions taken by the school, nursery or education authority.’

Please also be aware of our interim infection control guidance