COVID-19: Guidance for taxi drivers and operators

Taxi operators provide an essential service to the public and under current government guidelines can continue to operate. This note sets out the advice from Cumbria County Council’s Public Health team on how best to keep drivers and customers safe.

Key points

Ask if your customers have symptoms or have had contact with someone who has symptoms in the last 14 days. If they have, don’t allow them to enter the vehicle.

Wear a mask or face covering when there are customers in the vehicle. Encourage customers to wear a mask or face covering in the vehicle.

Keep contact with customers and their luggage to a minimum. Regularly wash or sanitise your hands.

Keep the vehicle well ventilated with fresh air.

Wipe down and disinfect the vehicle after each customer, focusing particularly on touch points like door handles and seat belts.

Customers

You should encourage customers to wear a face covering whilst in your taxi as they’re unable to socially distance. You shouldn’t let any customer inside your vehicle if they or anyone in their household have had coronavirus symptoms in the last 14 days.

Before taking a customer on a journey, you should ask them if anyone in their house has had symptoms in the last 14 days.

Further information about symptoms can be found here:

Symptoms of coronavirus on NHS website.

Frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do – GOV.UK.

Wearing face covering and gloves as a taxi driver

The government recommends if you’re in an enclosed environment and can’t maintain social distance you should wear a face covering.

It’s important for passengers to be able to identify you as a legitimate driver. Therefore,

please be prepared to remove your face covering so passengers can see your identity matches up with your displayed licence badge. This must be done following the current social distancing rules.

How to wear and make a cloth face covering on GOV.UK

HSE (Health and Safety Executive) recommendation on wearing gloves.

Social distancing advice for taxi drivers

The following social distancing advice may help keep you and your customers safer.

The number of customers travelling in your vehicle should be kept to a minimum. Any customers in your vehicle at the same time should be from the same household.

Where possible, customers should sit in the back of your vehicle and face away from you.

Before the journey, ask the customer if they have any luggage or bags and if they’re able to put them in the boot themselves. If they are able to do so, you should pop the boot open from inside your vehicle, if you can, and the customer should put their items in and close the boot.

If you need to help a customer with luggage or shopping, you should keep your distance, where possible. You can do this by asking your customer to leave their bags at the back of the vehicle and then step away so you can load them.

Avoid skin to skin contact at all times.

If you take breaks at your operator’s base, you should keep your distance from other drivers, where possible.

Follow the social distancing advice on GOV.UK.

Hygiene and safety advice for taxi drivers

Avoid cash payments and take card payments, where possible.

You should have disposable tissues with you to catch coughs and sneezes.

You should wash your hands before and after you get into your vehicle and before you touch a customer’s luggage.

Always keep the windows open when there is a passenger in the vehicle to help with ventilation.

Switch off the air conditioning or set it to avoid recycling air within the vehicle to a setting that brings fresh air in and enables air changes to take place.

Use hand sanitiser (at least 70% alcohol) after contact with anything a customer has been in contact with, if hand washing facilities are not available.

How to wash your hands.

Cleaning your vehicle and disposing of waste

After each customer, you should clean your vehicle thoroughly using wipes or disinfectant spray. Make sure you clean the surfaces your customers are likely to touch, such as door handles and seat belt clips.

You should clean the areas of the vehicle you touch regularly a few times throughout the day and always at the start and end of each shift. This includes door handles, steering wheel, handbrake and switches.

If you share your vehicle with another driver, you should clean the inside thoroughly before the next driver gets in.

Store any personal waste, such as tissues and cleaning wipes in disposable rubbish bags. Each driver should ensure they use a new disposable rubbish bag each shift. Follow the advice on how to dispose of personal waste.

If your vehicle may have been used by someone displaying the symptoms or a confirmed case, then the vehicle should be decontaminated thoroughly. If this isn’t

possible the vehicle needs to be left parked up and not used for a minimum of 72 hours. See how to clean your vehicle.

You should always wash your hands after cleaning your vehicle.

Operator staff advice and guidance

The government has published transport guidance on the safe provision of transport services during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important you review and implement government guidance if you’re operating a taxi or private hire vehicle business, or are a self-employed driver.

Regularly clean all contact points with disinfectant. This includes telephones, surfaces, door handles and taps.

Follow the government’s workplace guidance on working safely.

It’s good practice to display posters in the booking office relating to hand hygiene and social distancing. View Public Health England coronavirus posters and office resources.

If your operator base is open for customers to walk in and make bookings, you should ensure staff and customers can socially distance, where possible. To do this, you could consider limiting the number of people allowed in at the same time

or provide markers on the floor to allow people to stand, queue and socially distance.

Consider fitting Perspex screens to reduce the risks from face-to-face contact.

Guidance for operators on GOV.UK

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 on GOV.UK

Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection on GOV.UK

Government guidance for passengers

Guidance for passengers – travel safely during the coronavirus outbreak on GOV.UK Assistance for business

Financial help and support for businesses.

Employers, employees and business guidance

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