Revealed: List of sectors where workers may be exempt from Covid self-isolation

Peope at Piccadilly Circus, London, after the final coronavirus legal restrictions were lifted in England. Picture date: Monday July 19, 2021.
Peope at Piccadilly Circus, London, after the final coronavirus legal restrictions were lifted in England. Picture date: Monday July 19, 2021.

More than 600,000 Brits are currently at home isolating after being 'pinged' by the Covid test and trace system

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The government has unveiled its list of 16 sector where fully vaccinated workers can be exempt from isolation after coming into close contact with a Covid-19 case, provided they test negative.

Pressure on Number 10 to relax self-isolation rules has been mounting in recent days, as more than 600,000 Brits were self-isolating last week after being 'pinged' by the NHS Test and Trace app.

The sectors include:

  • Energy
  • Civil nuclear
  • Digital infrastructure
  • Food production supply
  • Waste
  • Water
  • Veterinary medicines
  • Essential chemicals
  • Essential transport
  • Medicines
  • Medical devices
  • Clinical consumable supplies
  • Emergency services
  • Border control
  • Essential defence outputs
  • Local government

Those workers will be able to leave their isolation to travel to work provided they test negative for Covid-19 - but must remain home if they test positive.

It only applies to workers who have had two-jabs, and 14 days after their second vaccine. The government has said they would publish a list of critical job which would be exempt under the guidance, but so far only sectors have ben named.

Shop shelves have been left empty after staff shortages in supermarkets - but shop floor workers will not be exempt.
Shop shelves have been left empty after staff shortages in supermarkets - but shop floor workers will not be exempt.

The exemptions are only intended to run until August 16, which is when rules around self-isolation are eased.

Workers have also been warned they will only be exempt if their employer has received a letter from the government on which their name is listed.

However the government added this is not a "blanket exemption" for all workers in a sector and "will not cover all or in most cases even the majority of workers in critical sectors".

For more information, further details are available on the government website here.