100-Year-Old woman and her home healthcare nurse.
100-Year-Old woman and her home healthcare nurse.

What is an ‘essential worker’ explained

Australian Prime Minister Scott said he considers "essential workers" to be "someone who has a job" in the country.

"Everyone who has a job in this economy is an essential worker. Every single job that is being done in our economy with these severe restrictions that are taking place is essential," he said in a dramatic Tuesday evening press conference.

"It can be essential in a service whether it's a nurse or a doctor or a schoolteacher, or a public servant who is working tonight to ensure that we can get even greater capacity in our Centrelink offices, working until 8:00 under the new arrangement in the call centres, these are all essential jobs.

"People stacking shelves, that is essential. People earning money in their family when another member of their family may have lost their job and can no longer earn, that's an essential job. Jobs are essential."

 

Supermarket workers and anyone with a job is deemed essential, the PM said. Picture: AAP Image/James Gourley
Supermarket workers and anyone with a job is deemed essential, the PM said. Picture: AAP Image/James Gourley

 

However the message came as he banned a host of businesses from opening to slow the spread of coronavirus and warned Australians should not be going out unless absolutely necessary.

It comes as the government tries to balance mitigating the effects of the coronavirus for the healthcare system with the economic cost.

In the UK, the government has published a list of key workers deemed essential to the economy who may continue to send their children to school and childcare despite schools being ordered to close.

Birthday parties and social events were banned with weddings restricted to five people and funerals to ten, with social distancing observed.

Despite the mass shutdowns, the PM said schools would remain open and he would meet with unions to ensure arrangements to protect teachers and staff.

Australians will also be banned from international travel in the coming days.

Originally published as What is an 'essential worker' explained



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