As the UK resumes its businesses and venues, are taxi drivers well equipped to hit the road?


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of society, severely affecting all industries globally. One of the industries that have faced an adverse impact in its business operation is the transportation industry in the United Kingdom. Strict lockdowns and reduced travel has led the taxi industry to suffer significant losses in business. With venues and businesses reopening soon, the UK government has set out a new roadmap with a step-by-step plan to lift the restrictions cautiously. 

People in England are eagerly looking forward to the 12th April for the stage 2 restrictions-lift to commence, followed by stage three, starting no earlier than 17th May, and stage four no earlier than 21st June. Life will return to a somewhat normal world as people visit their hairdressers, return to the gym, and enjoy outdoor attractions, restaurants and pubs. Though most people commute in their vehicle, a segment of the population continue to rely on rideshare and taxi services. With the new roadmap of reopening businesses and venues, taxi companies and drivers across the UK will undoubtedly need to take certain precautions before they hit the road. 

With the increased concern around health and safety, drivers across the rideshare and taxi industry are still hesitant to drive passengers, highly impacting the efficiency of the services. To address these concerns, the local authorities and councils have put extra measures to prevent the spread of the disease like wearing a face mask, using a hand sanitiser and ensuring that the taxis install compliant and approved vehicle protection screens, the PPE for vehicles. PPE is available in many forms, and the first thing that comes to mind is face masks. However, other PPE essentials for drivers such as a vehicle partition screen or driver protection screens, sneeze guard are equally crucial, including face masks. It plays a significant role in ensuring that both the driver and the passengers get peace of mind and enjoy a safer ride. 

What is a vehicle partition screen?

Trusted by hundreds of thousands of drivers worldwide, 98% of customers using the vehicle partition screen recommend it to others. Simple to install and easy to clean, these screens have optical transparency, allowing the driver and passengers to communicate without feeling isolated. It is a transparent sheet of plastic installed in vehicles behind the driver’s seat, ensuring both the driver and passenger’s safety and comfort by creating a more hygienic environment.

Why the significance?

With these vehicle protection screens, the taxi, private hire companies, and rideshare services can continue to provide a safer approach to take their passengers from point A to B, getting drivers back on the road quicker and more safely. These protective screens ensure safety for both drivers and passengers by minimising direct contact and reducing the risk of transmission. The vehicle PPE helps the providers create safer journeys, ensuring they comply with social distancing guidelines, putting passengers at the heart of every trip. 

The taxi and rideshare industry conduct business in a small, confined space where even after installing vehicle protection screens and maintaining distance with passengers, drivers will need to continue to follow other hygiene protocols that include:

Use of masks or face coverings at all times when in public surroundings

As per the COVID-19 guidance for taxi drivers and PHV’s, passengers must wear a face-covering in a taxi or PHV, unless they are exempt. Drivers can refuse to take a passenger if they are not wearing a face covering, and if they are not exempt. Drivers, however, are not expected to wear a face mask. However, it is highly recommended that they do it if it does not affect their ability to drive safely. Also, wearing a mask can help limit the spread of COVID-19. However, using a mask alone is not guaranteed to stop infections.

Use of rapid Antigen tests

The rapid antigen test is the simplest and quickest way to test yourself for COVID-19. Suppose you wake up with fever and cough and wonder if you had COVID-19 or some other flu. During times like this, a Rapid Antigen test could provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you need to leave the house to go to your work. Recommended by established authorities and governments, it is a cost-effective way for self-testing.

Use of sanitisers

It is crucial for drivers to constantly sanitise their vehicles, including door handles and all surfaces in contact with the previous passenger, as potential contamination may increase the risk of COVID-19.

Drivers not only have a right to feel safe and be protected from any harm while working, but they also have to work responsibly to ensure the hygiene of their vehicle. Today, protective vehicle screens as PPE is not only essential for public safety and health but an investment for a more hygienic and safer transport solution to mitigate risks in the future. It can further help the industry and its community to get through this economic and health crisis.

Nothing is more important than the safety of our community. Each individual plays a vital role to help slow down the spread of the virus, and when we all work together and play our part by doing what we can, we will inevitably come out of this challenging time more robust than ever and can finally truly connect with each other!

About Driver Bubble™

The Driver Bubble™ is a simple, intuitive screen that fits into most vehicles and helps shield passengers and drivers alike. Born out of Amsterdam, the company designs and builds protective screens for the global taxi, rideshare and transportation industry.