Private Hire Drivers have been essential in keeping key services going during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, drivers across the country have had difficulty getting guidance and support from the government. It was only as recently as June that formal guidance was laid out for the industry, 3 months after the lockdown was announced. Despite figures showing the profession has one of the highest COVID-19 related death rates.
Fortunately, there is now formal guidance in place.
We’ve covered some of the main points below for your convenience:
1. Wear a face covering
Taxi drivers and all passengers must ensure that they wear a face covering. It is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and your passengers.
Many licensing authorities are providing free masks to drivers. It may be well worth enquiring with your licensing authority if this is something they can provide.
Remember, you can legally refuse a passenger if they are unwilling to wear a mask!
2. Keep sanitiser handy
Again, this is one of the easy ones. Always try and keep a bottle of hand sanitiser for yourself and a surface sanitiser. Using this between journeys will help ensure a clean and safe working environment. This will help protect yourself and your passengers from the virus.
Remember, you don’t need to fork out on expensive surface sanitiser, you can make your own!
3. Take a free training course
One of the best ways to stay safe is to educate yourself. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has a series of FREE online training courses about COVID-19. Whilst these courses are aimed at healthcare professionals and public bodies, there are still many useful resources. You can access them here!
4. Have a screen fitted
Blackburn with Darwen council have taken strides recently to protect their fleet of drivers by installing protective screens in cabs across the area. Many drivers have reported threatening behaviour and even being spat at by customers. One driver in Stratford even lost his life following a spitting incident.
This is definitely one of the more expensive ways to protect yourself. Prices start at around £60 but they’re undoubtedly effective.
5. Get tested
This might seem obvious, but it is the best way to ensure the safety of you and your passengers. Many walk-in and drive-through test centres have been set up across the country and samples can be taken very quickly.
Transport workers are on the priority list for testing. If you have any symptoms at all, get yourself booked in. Results can come back within a couple of days and it means you can have that peace of mind for you and your family.
Remember, most people recover from COVID-19 without issue. Catching and treating it as early as possible can make all the difference.