Updated: Oct 6
Taxi drivers are NOT legally required to wear a face covering despite new rules mandating passenger usage, confirms the Department for Transport (DfT).
According to DfT sources, like all transport workers, taxi drivers are not legally required to wear a face covering while in their workplace, but are urged to wear face masks where possible.
The Department continues by advising drivers to wear a face covering when they are unable to maintain social distancing in passenger facing roles.
The DfT hope that the new measures, announced today by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will increase protection for drivers who are supporting key workers, vulnerable passengers and school children, particularly those with special needs.
For taxi and private hire passengers, tomorrow will see the use of face coverings mandated. Relevant exemptions will continue to apply for those with health, disability, or other reasons in line with the current face coverings on public transport regulations.
The penalty for passengers failing to wear a face covering will now be £200 for a first offence, doubling each time to a maximum fine of £6,400. This is in line with penalties for breaking the rule of six.
The Prime Minister said that the new restrictions could be in place for “perhaps six months” and warned those listening in the House of Commons there would be no complacency.
Johnson said: “After six months of restrictions, it would be tempting to hope the threat has faded and seek comfort in the belief that if you have avoided the virus so far then you are somehow immune.
“That sort of complacency could be our undoing. if we fail to act together now, we not only put others at risk but jeopardise our own futures with the more drastic action that we will inevitably be forced to take.”
Other new measures announced include hospitality businesses closing at 10pm and weddings further limited to a maximum of 15 people.