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Chemical Business Association News

Covid-19 Critical Worker Communication

27 July 2021


The Government has published a list of sectors in which a very limited number of named critical workers may have a reasonable excuse to leave self-isolation to attend work. This will only apply to workers who are fully vaccinated (defined as someone who is 14 days post-second dose) and is solely for the purpose of going to work. To mitigate the risk of increased transmission, certain conditions must be followed. Critical workers covered by this policy will need to take a PCR test followed by daily LFD tests. If they test positive, they must immediately self-isolate. The sectors included are (may increase):
• 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
• Local government

Where employers in these sectors believe that the self-isolation of certain key employees would result in serious disruption to critical services, they must contact the relevant government department as follows;
• For those involved in “Essential transport” the contact email address is
• For those involved in “Essential chemicals” the contact email address is
• Other sectors contact detail can be found in the link at the end

The following information should be provided:
• the number of people who it is proposed would leave self-isolation
• the roles those individuals need to perform
• the impact failure to do this would have and when this impact is likely to materialise (for example, is it already an issue or likely to materialise in the coming days)

The relevant department will work with the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health and Social Care to agree the roles and workplaces that are likely to meet the criteria set out above on a daily basis. The relevant department will then determine whether individual cases meet the criteria set out above. Decisions will be made rapidly on a case-by-case basis and kept under review.
Where a specific case meets the criteria, the employer will receive a letter from the relevant department setting out the named critical workers designated and telling them what measures they and those workers need to follow.
Unless employers have a letter from a government department on which the workers are specifically named, this policy does not apply, and employees should self-isolate as directed. Detailed information can be found at

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