Carlisle Council set guidance for taxi passengers to wear face coverings & maintain 2 metre distance
Following the introduction of new rules that require passengers to wear a face covering on their journey on public transport across England, taxi drivers and passengers are being encouraged to do the same.
While the regulations exclude taxi and private hire vehicles, updated guidance advises that taxi and private hire passengers ‘should’ wear face coverings, and that drivers ‘may be entitled to refuse’ to carry passengers without one.
Operator guidance lists taxi and private hire vehicles as excluded from the regulations but states that ‘a taxi driver may refuse to accept passengers if they are not wearing a face covering’.
Some advice for taxi passengers from Carlisle Council is as follows:
You are advised to wear a face covering when using taxis or private hire vehicles. A taxi driver may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you are not wearing a face covering. Exemptions will be made for very young children, the disabled and those with breathing difficulties.
Keep a 2-metre distance from others during your journey, for example at taxi ranks. If you need to be near people you should:
Avoid physical contact.
Try to face away from other people.
Keep the time you spend near other people as short as possible.
Follow the advice of the driver. For example, you may be asked to sit in the back left-hand side if travelling alone.
Check with your taxi or private hire operator before travelling to see if they have put any additional measures in place.
Use contactless payments if possible or find out if you can pay online in advance.
Be aware of the surfaces you touch.
After your journey, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible.
Advice remains that people should continue to avoid taking public transport where possible, but by mandating the use of face coverings the Government is asking passengers to play their part in helping to protect each other. Particularly as the numbers of people travelling gradually start to rise across the country, following the careful easing of restrictions when it’s safe to do so.
The regulations, which will be made under the Public Health Act 1984, came into force on Monday 15 June and make face coverings mandatory on buses, coaches, trams, ferries, aircraft and trains.
In addition, some operators will amend their conditions of carriage, allowing them to enforce the requirement in a similar way to the rules on having a ticket for travel, meaning they can implement the changes in the way that works best for them.
The council have stressed that face coverings are not the same as face masks. It is important that people do not use medical grade PPE masks to ensure these remain available for frontline staff.
Last month, the Government set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings easily at home, using scarves or other textile items.
Image credit: Pixabay