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A Guide For Using Taxis During Lockdown

Many people rely on taxis to get to work, school, hospital appointments, or to be able to go grocery shopping. But during the imposed restrictions to halt the spread of COVID-19, can you still use a taxi or private hire service?

The Department for Transport (DfT) has said that taxis can operate and may be considered ‘critical workers’ in some cases, but if you have questions about if and how to get a taxi during the lockdown, we hopefully have some answers for you.

Can I take a taxi under lockdown?

As stated, taxis are still operating during the current lockdown. However, taxis may only be taken for the following essential purposes, as per government guidelines:

• For travelling to and from work if you can’t do it from home

• For taking one form of exercise a day, alone or with members of your household

• Shopping for basic necessities (though trips should be kept to a minimum)

• Attending medical appointments or providing care for a vulnerable person

The restrictions on gatherings of more than two people outside of the same household don’t apply to passengers in cars.

Each taxi service may have different policies in place, so ring up or check their website to be sure.

Can I use services like Uber and Lyft under lockdown?

As with ordinary taxi services, drivers who work for ride-hailing companies are still allowed to operate. Most of these companies are encouraging customers to travel only if necessary. Uber has posted the following on its website:

"We’re reminding everyone who uses Uber to follow advice from public health authorities," the website says. "If you’re sick, stay home and away from others. Wash your hands frequently, and cover your cough or sneeze."

Uber has also suspended the accounts of any drivers who have been exposed to the coronavirus or showing symptoms, and ride-sharing options are not currently available. Hail-riding firms Bolt and Ola have issued similar statements.

How can I keep myself safe as a driver or user of taxis under lockdown?

There are several ways to ensure you keep yourself safe while in a taxi, whether you’re a passenger or a driver.

If you’re a passenger:

• Always sit in the back seat of the car to maintain a distance

• Choose contactless payments, rather than cash if possible

• Wash your hands thoroughly when you get home and avoid touching your face before you have done this

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and immediately throw it away

• Consider carrying hand sanitiser and/or sanitising wipes in your car to clean your hands and wipe down any high-touch surfaces between passengers

• Wash your hands thoroughly after every shift and avoid touching your face with unclean hands

• Ask passengers to lift their own luggage where possible

• Encourage passengers to sit in the back seat

• Cough and sneeze into tissues to be immediately thrown away

You should never give rides or take taxi rides if you suspect you might have coronavirus or feel generally unwell.

If you need a taxi in Basingstoke, then contact us today.

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