People planning to use taxis or private hire vehicles this weekend should wear a face covering in order to protect themselves and their driver from COVID-19.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s licensing team, as well as licensed taxis and private hire drivers, have put a number of additional safety measures in place to keep everyone safe.
While it’s mandatory for passengers to wear face masks on public transport, the same rules do not apply to taxis and private hire vehicles.
Now licensing officers and drivers are following Government guidance and urging customers to protect themselves and their driver by using a face covering as one a range of safety measures.
As the pubs re-opened this weekend, a number of licensed taxi and private vehicles have additional safety measures including a safety screen placed between the driver’s seat and the back of the vehicles, will be disinfected after each customer, and many will now have contactless payment machines meaning a safe distance can be maintained at all times.
While as part of the Government’s track and trace service, drivers will be asking for contact details of their passengers so people can be identified should anyone be diagnosed with COVID-19 symptoms.
These details will be kept for 21 days before being destroyed.
Other measures put in place include:
- vehicles being thoroughly cleaned before and after all passengers
- passengers are being asked to sit in the back of vehicles, in the far left if only one passenger is in the vehicle
- some vehicles are now fitted with plastic screens between driver and passengers
- vehicles will be kept well ventilated for the passengers and driver
- advice will be given to passengers as they book their vehicle, depending on the company/drivers requirements – this will include that a face mask should be worn
- drivers will try to carry a small supply of disposable face masks to assist passengers who haven’t pre-planned to get a taxi
- contactless payments will be offered where possible.
Those booking taxis are asked to:
- wear a face covering from the duration of the journey
- maintain social distancing while waiting at a rank or taxi office
- follow the advice and guidance given by the driver
- check with the taxi or private hire operator before booking to find out what safety measures are in place
- be aware of the surfaces being touched
- be careful not to touch your face
- when finishing the journey, hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser
Councillor Mike Stathers, portfolio holder for enhancing communities at East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “It’s great to see the pubs re-opening at the weekend and taxis on the ranks again.
“I hope those going out to enjoy a drink will do so responsibly and make sure they use a licensed taxi to get home safely.
“But people have to make sure the environment is safe for both themselves and their driver so the council is supporting the call that face covering should be worn when using a licensed vehicle.
“A driver may be entitled to refuse to accept a passenger or a booking if a face covering is not worn.
“The best advice it to make sure you pre-book a vehicle in advance and during that call find out what their requirements are. Many drivers have installed their own safety screens to give added protection to customers, which is welcomed.
“These measures are to keep everyone safe and to ensure we can stop the spread of COVID-19.”