Are Taxi Drivers Key Workers?< Back to blog
Taxi drivers and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers who have contracts with vulnerable people are being seen as key workers during the coronavirus outbreak, a statement from the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed.
Despite public transport being reduced and people being told to avoid all non-essential travel, you may still be able to book a taxi if you’re a key worker without access to a car for commuting. Or, if you’re elderly and can’t get to the shops for essentials on your own and don’t have any support in place to help you with this either.
Taxi driver safeguarding measures
If your local taxi company has decided to remain open, there should be measures in place to reduce the risk of you and the driver contracting coronavirus.
Some examples of safeguarding measures taxi firms and PHV businesses are putting in place include:
- All taxi drivers using face masks and hand sanitiser to help prevent bacteria and germs spreading.
- Increasing the number of times each vehicle is washed and disinfected inside (e.g. after every job).
- Encouraging payment over the phone to avoid handling cash.
Can I still book a taxi?
Despite some taxi services being deemed as essential, firms may have altered their offering in light of lockdown restrictions.
For example, Uber is still operating but has suspended its ‘pool’ car-sharing option.
Not all areas in the UK have access to Uber, so it’s worth checking the websites of your nearest taxi/PHV companies to find out whether they’re still accepting bookings. If this information isn’t available, you should try contacting them on their business telephone to check whether drivers are still picking people up.
Taxi companies are now supporting NHS and essential workers
There has been an upsurge in the number of taxi firms altering their services to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak. Ultimately, this has meant that some taxi drivers are being considered essential workers.
In Liverpool, a company called Alpha Taxis is working with supermarkets and shoppers to pick up pre-ordered groceries and deliver it straight to their door, contact-free.
Elsewhere, logistics company Stuart has pledged to give supermarkets access to 120,000 taxi drivers and couriers across the UK to provide food and other essentials to those that need them.
Another example is in Shrewsbury, where a taxi company called Shrewsbury Cars is working with independent food stores and supermarkets to deliver food to people who are self-isolating.
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