Birmingham City Council say non-approved and plastic sheeting screens are not acceptable in minicabs

Birmingham City Council (BCC) have clearly stated that any home-made screens, non-approved screens and temporary plastic sheeting installed in private hire vehicles (PHV) to combat the spread of COVID-19 are not acceptable.

Like in the capital, traditional taxis in the ‘second city’ are already fitted with partitions between drivers and passengers, whereas private hire vehicles lack the screen divide.

Private hire drivers up and down the country are determined to keep operating, but with social distancing requirements difficult to achieve in saloon and hatchback type cars which are used by most, drivers have turned to the installation of some kind of partition within the vehicle.

Images circulating across social media have shown some worrying home-made screens which have been installed by some drivers, including layers and layers of shrink wrap used to separate front seats from the back.

Birmingham City Council have made it very clear that such screens will not be allowed.

BCC have also stated that there is “no evidence available that demonstrates that partitions in taxis or PHV’s reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 infection”.

They added that whilst it is possible that partitions may reduce the risk of transmission of infection, the risk would not be eliminated entirely, as partitions in both forms of transport do nor provide a “fully sealed” compartment.

The council concluded that any driver who wishes to install a partition or safety screen, will need to ensure their vehicle complies to Government and industry regulations and the council’s requirements as a licensing authority.

”If partitions or screens are used, they should be cleaned regularly, including between passenger journeys and changes of drivers,” Birmingham City Council said.

Image credit: Piqsels

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