Freight and logistics industry workers have been classed as “essential workers” during the third national lockdown in England, the UK government has confirmed.
Peter Ward, CEO of the UK Warehousing Association, submitted a request for clarification from the Department of Transport, which issued a letter to the industry yesterday.
According to the government, “those who work to keep the freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus response and EU transition, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass, are considered critical workers.”
This includes a broad swathe of jobs attached to the supply chain, including “haulage drivers, managers, warehouse staff and all other logistics professions who need to go about their business to keep supply chains moving.” This is not limited to food and medical supplies.
Essential workers—also known as “key workers”—can still travel to work, and travel for work, provided that they cannot work from home. Children of essential workers may continue to attend school for face-to-face teaching.
As the vaccines are rolled out, key workers may be prioritised in the second phase of the programme, after frontline health and social care workers, the clinically vulnerable, and those aged over 50.