Keeping taxi drivers safe during COVID-19: what are the rules?

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Written by Michael Foote , founder of Quote Goat, with over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

In the midst of the lockdown due to COVID-19 across the UK, Taxi services have resumed their services to assist essential workers and make sure those that need to work are able to get to their destinations.

The Department of Transport as issued guidance on how to help prevent the spread of the virus amongst taxi drivers and their passengers, which is updated regularly.

These are the recommendations currently set out for those driving taxis in this difficult time:

Guidelines for drivers

Whilst taxi drivers are not considered critical workers, those involved in Home to School transport and those who are transporting the ‘extremely vulnerable’ can be considered an essential worker. However, these are judged on a case-by-case basis.

Those whoa re considered as critical workers should make special arrangements for their children to be taken care of at home, preferably, as long as it is made safe.

Face Masks

Drivers and passengers are advised to wear a facemask at all times when in a taxi. Face masks have been proven to slow the spread of the virus between individuals as long as both are wearing them.

Whilst face masks aren’t a 100% guarantee, they are advised to be worn where social distancing cannot be maintained, which would include taxi drivers and their passengers.

Refusing Passengers Not Wearing A Face Mask

Taxi and private hire drivers are advised to make a risk assessment themselves for each passenger outlined in the transport operator guidance from May 12. Any requirements for face covering should be made clear  the passenger before the booking is accepted and taxi drivers reserve the right to to admit passengers to enter the taxi if their face is not covered.

Protective Barriers

Having a separation barrier installed within the taxi should be decided by the licensing authorities and private hire vehicle operators based on a risk assessment.

Undertaking Deliveries

Taxi drivers are currently being supported by the Association of British Insurers by providing alternative sources of income in this difficult time, most notably undertaking deliveries as couriers. Licensed taxi drivers or private hire vehicles with hire or reward insurance in place, as of 8th March, won’t need to source additional taxi insurance in order to operate as a delivery driver during COVID-19 for essential deliveries.




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