Middlesbrough private hire firm sets up COVID-19 test site for drivers


Image credit: Middlesbrough Council

Hundreds of cabbies in Middlesbrough now have access to regular rapid Covid-19 tests, after Boro Cars set up a test site in partnership with Middlesbrough Council and NHS Test and Trace.


The testing is carried out by the Boro Cars admin team who have all undergone NHS training.

All the necessary test kits, PPE and other equipment have been provided by the Council. Boro Cars provides its staff and facilities for free, recognising the benefit to the whole community.


The Boro Cars site adds to other community testing sites in the town for people without Covid symptoms. According to the council’s website, around one in three people with the virus don't display symptoms, meaning the lateral flow tests can help find people who could potentially have been spreading the virus without knowing.


Boro Cars Director Christine Bell said the firm was believed to be the only private hire company in the region to be offering rapid tests to its staff. She said: "Although this is a voluntary scheme it has been welcomed by drivers and we are encouraging all staff and drivers to be tested at least once weekly and ideally twice a week.

"Boro Cars will continue to do all we can to help protect the communities we serve. We are very pleased to have been asked by Middlesbrough Council to pilot this scheme in the Tees Valley and are very grateful to them for their support."


South Tees Joint Director of Public Health Mark Adams said: "I'm pleased Boro Cars is on board with the programme. Their staff don't have the option of working from home so this is another measure that can help keep people safe.


"As lockdown is gradually relaxed more people will use taxis and this testing can be part of a range of measures to help stop the spread.

"We have lots of options for people without symptoms to get tested around Middlesbrough and every test can help us drive down the infection rate further."


Earlier in the pandemic, with grants from the council, taxi and private hire vehicle owners licensed with the council were able to fit partition screens in their vehicles.


The screens, along with regular anti-bacterial cleaning of Boro Cars vehicles, are designed to keep drivers and passengers safe.


Passengers must wear a face covering, unless they are exempt by law. Taxi and private hire drivers are not required to wear a face covering, but Boro Cars encourages all drivers to do so as a further measure to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.

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