TfL advise taxi and minicab drivers to take ‘precautionary measures’ in wake of Coronavirus outbreak

London’s taxi and private hire drivers have been advised to take precautionary measures in the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak.

The advice, which was issued by Transport for London (TfL) yesterday, comes following concerns regarding the possible implications of the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China.

Based on HM Government and NHS public information, drivers are being encouraged to:

  • Always carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes

  • Dispose of used tissues in the bin as soon as possible

  • Wash hands with soap and water, or use sanitiser gel, to kill germs.

Graham Robinson, TfL’s Interim General Manager Taxi and Private Hire, added: “We advise all licensees, including taxi and private hire drivers, to follow these simple and sensible steps at all times and particularly in the wake of the outbreak of Coronavirus.

“We would also encourage licensees to take sensible and routine precautionary measures such a cleaning surfaces regularly with sanitising wipes or spray to get rid of germs.

“As ever, Taxi drivers should consider regularly cleaning card payment devices. Licensees who share a taxi or private hire vehicle should consider regularly cleaning the steering wheel and instruments.”

The first diagnosed case of coronavirus in London was confirmed after the patient ‘self-presented’ themselves at Lewisham Hospital A&E arriving in an Uber private hire vehicle. The driver was later suspended from the platform.

In China, Didi Chuxing (DiDi) today began rolling out a program to install protective sheets in its ride-hailing vehicles.

A DiDi driver cleaning his vehicle in China (Credit: DiDi)

The sheets create a protective divider between the driver and passenger seats, and are part of DiDi’s anti-coronavirus initiative to prevent droplet transmission of COVID-19.

The ride-hailing firm already requires all drivers to wear masks, register their temperatures daily, and disinfect and ventilate their vehicles regularly.

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