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Driving COVID Safety

This is a new standard for licensed drivers in Cheshire West and Chester to show they take the risk of COVID-19 seriously and that the safety of their passengers is a priority.

The Council has secured funding to improve COVID safety and will support the borough's licensed drivers, including financially, to achieve the standard.

Private hire and hackney carriage drivers in the borough are currently being invited to sign up to the initiative. Successful drivers will display a Driving COVID Safety sticker in their vehicle to show passengers that they are taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

What is involved?

To achieve the standard, licensed hackney and private hire vehicle drivers must agree to meet a series of criteria:

A safe screen is installed in the vehicle separating the front and rear compartments.

Spare face coverings are kept in the front of the vehicle in case the front passenger seat needs to be used.

Hand sanitiser is available in the vehicle for both driver and customers to use.

The front passenger seat is only used if necessary. If it is being used, the driver wears a face covering (if it does not affect their ability to drive safely) and requests that the passenger also wears a face covering.

Passenger touch points, such as door handles, are cleaned regularly throughout a shift and a thorough clean is carried out either at the end of a shift or before the next shift begins.

Cleaning materials are kept in the vehicle for this purpose.

Any waste left in the vehicle is disposed of between passengers.

Good ventilation is maintained in the vehicle by ensuring that:

  • the vehicle's windows are at least partially open during each journey, depending on the weather, and
  • the vehicle's ventilation system is used to draw a good supply of fresh air in from outside. The air re-circulate function on vehicle air conditioning units is not used.

Windows and doors are left open for at least five minutes in accordance with Government guidelines after each passenger/journey.

Extra precautions are required for shared vehicles. If a vehicle is shared, the driver's compartment should be thoroughly cleaned, and windows and doors left open for at least five minutes before the exchange of drivers.

The driver asks passengers two key safety questions before they enter the vehicle:

  1. Have you had any of the following symptoms: fever, new cough or loss of or change to sense of smell or taste - in the past 10 days?
  2. Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days?
  • and refuses entry if they answer yes to either question.

The driver takes a lateral flow device test twice a week.

The driver does not work if he/she tests positive or has tested positive in the last 10 days, has any COVID-19 symptoms or has been told to self-isolate (a legal requirement).

The driver keeps up to date with all current COVID-19 guidance and best practice.

Support from the Council

The Council has secured funding to go towards COVID safety and will support the borough's licensed drivers in the following ways:

  • All participating drivers will be awarded £180 to help them meet the standard and cover the cost of materials.
  • All participating drivers will receive a Driving COVID Safety certificate and sticker to display in their vehicles to show their commitment to meeting the standard and reducing the spread of the virus.
  • Installation of new COVID-safe screens in vehicles will be funded by the Council.
  • Any screens fitted independently will be inspected and, if they do not meet the specification and funding allows, the cost of a replacement screen will be covered by the Council.
  • If a screen fitted independently does meet the specification, the Council will seek to reimburse drivers as funding allows and on a case-by-case basis.

Sign up

You can sign up by emailing the Driving COVID Safety team:

drivingcovidsafety@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

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