The government has released a list of 16 sectors where fully vaccinated workers may be exempt from isolation if they are told to quarantine after coming into close contact with a positive COVID case.
The sectors include 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 outputs, and local government.
Those covered will be able to leave their COVID-19 isolation to travel to work and do their jobs but must remain at home otherwise.
The government had said they would publish of list of critical jobs that would be exempt – but there is so far nothing more specific than the sectors named above.
The exemptions will only be open to a “limited number of named workers” in critical services and are only intended to run until 16 August.
Workers have also been warned that they will only be exempt if their employer has received a letter from the government on which their name is listed.
The government said “this is not a blanket exemption for all workers in a sector”.
Business and industry figures have been calling for exemptions to be set out, amid warnings that staff shortages caused by the so-called pingdemic are having a knock-on effect in a number of sectors such as the NHS, police and supermarkets.
Any business which believes its workers should be exempt are asked to contact the relevant governmental department.