NHS staff are to be given free car parking with immediate effect at hospitals and other medical facilities for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Social care staff and health service volunteers will also be exempt from parking charges.
NHS Trusts set their own parking charges, but the Government will cover the cost of any income lost from daily fees paid by staff, the Department of Health said.
Frontline workers will also be able to use council parking bays without time restriction or charge, Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick has promised.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our NHS is facing an unprecedented challenge, and I will do everything I can to ensure our dedicated staff have whatever they need during this unprecedented time.
“So we will provide free car parking for our NHS staff who are going above and beyond every day in hospitals across England.
“My enormous gratitude goes out to the many NHS Trusts and other organisations already providing free car parking and I urge other Trusts to do the same with our backing.
“We will do what is needed to protect the NHS, support our health and care staff, and save lives as we tackle Covid-19.”
The new free parking on council land for health workers, social care workers and NHS volunteers will apply to all on-street parking and open, council-run car parks including pay and display.
Mr Jenrick said councils will set up arrangements so those eligible can provide suitable evidence to display in their windscreen and avoid a ticket.
“Our NHS staff and social care workers are working round the clock to save lives and should not have to worry about the cost or time restrictions of parking,” Mr Jenrick said.
Private company the National Car Parking Group has also said it will provide NHS staff free parking at all 150 of its sites in England.
Ministers are now urging other businesses and organisations located near hospitals to work with their local NHS Trusts to consider allowing NHS staff use of their car parks.
Cllr James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “These critical workers are all doing vital and highly-valued work to support the most vulnerable in our society and councils want to do all they can to support them.”
Many councils and NHS Trusts have already suspended parking charges for key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
But parking enforcement will continue for everyone else throughout the lockdown to ensure roads remain clear for emergency and essential services.