COVID-19 Risk for Taxi Drivers

Aside from the driver, a passenger should avoid sharing a taxi or private hire vehicle (PHV) with someone from outside their household or support bubble unless their journey is undertaken for an exempt reason. For example, if sharing the vehicle is reasonably necessary as part of a passenger’s work, you do not have to refuse to carry them.Passengers must adhere to social contact rules when traveling by taxi or PHV, including only gathering to travel in groups of no more than 6, or 2 households, aside from the driver, unless they travel for the exempt reason.

Follow this guidance even if you have been vaccinated. You could still spread COVID-19 to others.

Carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment – drivers

As a self-employed driver of a vehicle, you must conduct a risk assessment to understand the risks and what you can do about them. It would help if you thought about how you work and protect yourself and your passengers.

Regular testing is recommended as part of your risk assessment. Everyone in England can now receive regular tests, and as a vehicle driver who comes into contact with public members, you should consider getting tested regularly. Follow the guidance regarding testing.

If you have not already been vaccinated, it is also recommended that you consider getting vaccinated when you are invited. Information about vaccines is available from the NHS.

As a driver, you do not have to write anything down about your risk assessment.

As part of the risk assessment you undertake, you may decide you want to install a safety screen behind the front row seats to separate yourself from the passengers in the vehicle’s rear. The decision on whether to use a screen rests with you and the local licensing authority. If you decide to fit one, guidance on choosing and fitting a screen safely in a vehicle is available.

NHS COVID-19 app

To help control the spread of COVID-19, drivers should download and use the NHS COVID-19 app.

Picking up passengers

Before a passenger enters your vehicle, you should ask if they have:

  • coronavirus symptoms – a fever, new cough, or loss of smell or taste
  • had a positive coronavirus test in the last ten days

You should refuse service if they have.

You should wash or sanitize your hands if you come into contact with a passenger or their luggage. It would help if you did this before and after contact.

You must continue to provide support to disabled passengers to enter and exit your vehicle safely. You must continue to assist disabled passengers with their luggage and mobility equipment.

Show passengers your face while socially distancing so that they can identify you as their driver.

Passengers should check the guidance on travel and restrictions on social distancing that apply to their journey.

To help control the spread of the virus, you should remind passengers of the rules on social contact in place, but you do not have to refuse to carry them.

In The Vehicle

Passengers must wear a face-covering in a taxi or PHV unless they are exempt. You can refuse to take a passenger if they are not wearing a face covering and are not exempt. Passengers do not have to provide proof that they are exempt.

You do not have to wear a face covering, but we recommend that you do if it does not affect your ability to drive safely. Your licensing authority or operator may ask you to wear a face covering. You should follow their guidance if it does not affect your ability to drive safely.

You may need to remove your face covering to communicate with passengers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

It would help if you asked passengers to sit as far from you as possible or put a mark where you would like them to sit. Where possible, they should not sit in the front of the vehicle.

Open windows when carrying passengers and use the car’s vents to bring in fresh air from outside. It would help if you did not use the recirculated air option for the car’s ventilation system when carrying passengers.

End of The Journey – Leaving the Vehicle

Take contactless payment if you can.

If not, you should wash your hands with soap and water or sanitizer after handling money.

It would help if you reminded passengers to wash or sanitize their hands after the journey.

Preparing your vehicle for the next passenger

When a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, talks, or breathes, they release droplets and aerosols which can be breathed in by another person. While larger droplets fall quickly to the ground, smaller droplets and aerosols containing the virus that causes COVID-19 can remain suspended in the air for some time indoors, especially if there is no ventilation.

Ventilation is the process of replacing this shared air with fresh air from the outside. The more ventilated an area is, the more fresh air there is to breathe, and the less likely a person is to inhale infectious particles. Many taxi services in weybridge are done same procedure for their vehicle. we must take care of our environment in such crisis which is basically beneficial for us.

Surfaces and belongings can also be contaminated with COVID-19 when people who are infected cough or sneeze near them or if they touch them.

Between every journey, you should:

  • clean those parts of your vehicle that you or passengers may have touched, for example, door handles, payment devices, protective screens, buttons, seats
  • open doors/windows to ventilate the car for 5 minutes
  • wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer

If you have Coronavirus Symptoms or have been told to self-isolate

You should not work if you have coronavirus symptoms or you have been told to self-isolate. If you have coronavirus symptoms, you should get a test as soon as possible. It would be best if you stayed at home until you get the result.

Financial help for drivers

If you are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you may be entitled to a payment of ÂŁ500 from your local council under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Self-employed drivers may also be eligible for:

  • the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme
  • a coronavirus Bounce Back loan

If you are clinically highly vulnerable and have received a formal shielding notification, you are entitled to either Statutory Sick Pay or Employment Support Allowance.

Read more about Coronavirus (COVID-19): what to do if you’re self-employed and getting less work or no work.

PHV operators and taxi intermediaries

Carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment – operators and intermediaries

PHV operators and taxi intermediaries must carry out a risk assessment in line with government guidance.

If you have fewer than five employees, including non-drivers (dispatchers, booking agents, etc.), you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment.

Providing health information to drivers and passengers

You should provide health information to drivers and passengers through your smartphone apps, text messages, and displaying posters within operating centers. You should also:

  • encourage the drivers you work with to read the drivers guidance
  • display posters to remind drivers and passengers of good hygiene practice – stickers or notices used in the vehicle should not reduce the driver’s view through the windscreen and front windows, or their view of mirrors
  • share messages to encourage drivers and passengers to download and use the NHS COVID-19 app
  • make clear to passengers that unless they are exempt, they must wear a face covering at all times when in the vehicle
  • remind passengers to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer before entering the vehicle

Drivers do not have to wear a face covering, but we recommend that they do if it does not affect their ability to drive safely.

Ride-sharing or pooled ride services should not be provided online or at taxi ranks