Taxi and private hire vehicles CAN operate across tier boundaries says Transport Minister

Taxi and private hire vehicles are able to operate across tier boundaries during the pandemic lockdown rules says Transport Minister.

Rachael Maskell MP asked the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, via a written question what steps he is taking to ensure that taxis do not travel from a higher COVID-19 tier area to a lower tier area.

Rachel Maclean, DfT Parliamentary Under-Secretary, replied saying: ”The Government has published guidance for the taxi and private hire vehicle sector on how to provide COVID-safe services during the pandemic. Taxis and private hire vehicles are therefore able to operate across tier boundaries.

“Passengers must adhere to the local restrictions when considering travel and should follow the Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers.”

In new updated guidance released last week by the Department for Transport (DfT), it detailed the measures that taxi drivers and operators should take during the national COVID-19 lockdown.

Aside from the driver, a passenger is not permitted to share a taxi or private hire vehicle with someone from outside their household or support bubble unless their journey is undertaken for an exempt reason. For example, if sharing the vehicle is reasonably necessary as part of a passenger’s work, the driver does not have to refuse to carry them.

These restrictions apply only to England. There are different restrictions in the other UK nations: Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

All self-employed taxi or private hire drivers must conduct a risk assessment to understand the risks and what they can do about them. Each cabbie should think about how they work and ways they can protect themselves and their passengers.

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