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Taxi face covering condition of carriage DROPPED, but TfL ‘strongly recommends’ their continued use

Image credit: LEVC

The wearing of face coverings will no longer be a condition of carriage from 24 February but customers and staff will be strongly recommended to wear them if they are able to.

The decision to drop the condition stretches across to taxi and private hire services, along with the rest of the London transport network.

Transport for London (TfL) made the decision to no longer require customers to wear face coverings as a condition of carriage on its services from 24 February, having considered a variety of factors including the shift in the Government's approach towards living with the virus and decreasing infection rates in London.

The changes respond to the current pandemic situation in London and will allow the regulator to maintain safe transport services for its customers and colleagues.

In a notice issued by Graham Robinson, Taxi and Private Hire TfL General Manager, it said: ‘From Thursday 24 February TfL strongly recommends that taxi and private hire drivers, and passengers, wear a face covering at all times when in a taxi or private hire vehicle (PHV).’

The regulator also ‘strongly recommended’ that PHV operators and taxi booking companies continue with the use of face coverings despite the dropped condition of carriage. The notice reads: ‘PHV operators and taxi booking platforms should recommend passengers wear a face covering.’

Other key announcements affecting the PHV industry were also announced. Minicab drivers that have a temporary screen fitted in their vehicle can continue to use them. The notice reads: ‘Licensees who have already installed an approved temporary screen in their vehicle can continue to use it.’

PHV Operators can now offer ridesharing services once again, and passengers wishing to travel in the front seat can now do so.

Previously, TfL’s guidance has been that passengers should not sit in the front passenger seat in PHVs.

In the notice TfL say: “We continue to encourage passengers to sit as far away from the driver as possible, ideally in the rear passenger-side seat. However, on journeys with more passengers, the front passenger seat can be used.”


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