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COVID-19: guidance for taxi drivers and operators | Taxi and Private Hire licences | Sandwell Council

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Taxi and Private Hire licences

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.

Customers you're allowed to take on journeys

Customers must wear a face covering whilst in your taxi, unless an existing exemption applies and are advised that they use taxis, or another form of public transport, for essential reasons.

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.

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. 
  • How to wash your hands.

Wearing face covering and gloves as a taxi driver

The government recommends if you're in a 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.

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.

Guidance on Safety Screens in licensed Vehicles

The Department of Transport have issued guidance for the safe and appropriate fitting of separating screens between the front and rear or taxi or private hire vehicles.  Guidance was published on 3rd March 2021 and can be found on the Government website

Please note that as a condition of your licence, you will require permission from the Licensing Authority before the screen is fitted.

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.

Government guidance for passengers

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