Increased testing of taxi drivers hopes to shine light on the risks and spreading of COVID-19


The Government are hoping increased COVID-19 testing amongst taxi and private hire drivers will help them learn more about who is at higher risk and how the virus is spreading.


The latest news comes as part of the new NHS Test and Trace programme, where the Government will ask people working in 'high risk' jobs to test for coronavirus even if they are not showing symptoms.

The new testings measure will target people working in roles that require people spending extended periods of time with colleagues or customers in an enclosed and confined space.


Mike Amesbury MP Shadow Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government, asked the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, what guidance he is issuing to local authorities on supporting the safety of taxi and private hire drivers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Rachel Maclean MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Department for Transport, replied on Grant Shapps behalf saying: "On 12 May, the Department for Transport issued guidance to transport operators to help organisations, agencies and others (such as self-employed transport providers) understand how to provide safer workplaces and services for themselves, their workers and passengers across all modes of private and public transport.


"The Department for Transport has also contacted all licensing authorities in England and other sector stakeholders to highlight this guidance and set out its implications for the taxi and private hire vehicle trade.


"As the Prime Minister announced on 10 June, the Government will be expanding targeted testing of occupations and groups at higher risk, including those individuals working in front line jobs, which bring them regularly into close contact with the public. This will help us learn more about who is at higher risk and how the virus is spread."


There are concerns that people with the virus, but showing no symptoms, are unknowingly passing on the infection to other members of the public. It is thought that as many as 70% of people who have carried COVID-19 showed none of the symptoms associated with the virus.


Image credit: Pisqels.com

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