COVID-19 Precautions for driver and passenger safety - UPDATE

Guidance issued by our licencing authority South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC)

The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that:

Private hire vehicles can continue to work. But the advice is absolutely clear – people should stay at home if possible. That is the way to save lives and protect our NHS. The public should avoid travel unless absolutely essential. The only reasons to leave our houses are set out in the government guidance.

As a Private Hire business, CCE Cars do undertake home to school transport and the transport of ‘extremely vulnerable’ people and so are considered Critical Workers.

We would like to take the opportunity to provide advice with a view to protecting you, the passenger and your driver:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or live in a household with someone with possible COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to the virus, either through anyone/where else, please follow the official advice to self-isolate. 
  • Our drivers are advised to avoid handling money and to take alternative payment methods.
  • Where it is not possible to remain 2 metres apart, drivers and passengers should face away from each other, rather than face-to-face if possible. Where face-to-face contact cannot be avoided, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible. Our drivers will consider reducing occupancy to individual passengers in the back left-hand seat.
  • Good ventilation (i.e. keeping the windows open) may help to reduce the risk of transmission. Air conditioning or ventilation on our vehicles is set to extract and not recirculate the air within the vehicle where possible.
  • After each passenger journey, our drivers clean hard surfaces such as door handles, window controls, seat belts, card payment devices, the rear of the front seats and other touch points with alcohol (minimum 60%) wipes. Drivers then wash/sanitise their own hands. A thorough clean of the vehicle is completed at the end of each working day.
  • Hand sanitising gel with alcohol of a minimum 60%, is provided in the car, for the driver and passengers to use in particular after handling money, coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, touching your face, eating or drinking.
  • Our drivers carry tissues, and use them to catch coughs or sneezes. Used tissues are disposed of in a bin as soon as possible.
  • Drivers are still obliged under the Equality Act 2010 to provide reasonable assistance and make reasonable adjustments for disabled passengers. The safer transport guidance for operators in the section below includes advice on measures that can be taken when it is not possible to maintain the recommended social distance.
  • The use of PPE (medical face masks and gloves) is not recommended for transport workers as it may lead to false reassurance of protection and a failure to adhere to good hygiene and social distancing practices, therefore increasing the risk. PPE should be reserved for those who need it to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers.
  • Passengers MUST wear a face covering (i.e. not a medical mask) to assist in reducing transmission unless there is a medical reason for not doing so.

Use of partitions or screens in vehicles
There is no evidence available that demonstrates that partitions in vehicles reduces the risk of transmission of infection, as they do not provide a fully sealed compartment which completely separates the driver from the passenger. Therefore, whilst it is possible that partitions may reduce the risk of transmission of infection, please note that the risk would not be eliminated entirely.

Updated 05/01/21