News & Press
Safer Transport Operations in Readiness for 4th July
July 2nd 2020
Zedcarz Group Safer Transport Operations During Coronavirus Pandemic
On the 10th of May, the prime minister announced the Governments roadmap to gradually ease coronavirus restrictions. On the 12th May, the Government published guidance for those operating transport services (relevant to all taxi and Private hire licenses), including specific provisions for taxi and Private Hire Services.
Face Coverings & Face Masks
Transport for London (Tfl) announced the following advice for persons travelling via Private Hire Vehicles.
- Use a Face Covering
- Carry Hand Sanitizer
- Wash your hands before and after you travel
Zedcarz Group are providing all staff and drivers with face masks and are including hand sanitizer accessibility in all vehicles. The latest government advice suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms.
A Face covering is not the same as a surgical mask or respirators used by healthcare workers as part of Personal Protective Equipment. Zedcarz are heeding advice by TFL by supplying all drivers with pharmaceutical grade face masks whilst operating Private Hire Vehicles.
Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC)
In Late April, TFL approached STAC to ask it to examine issues around Private Hire Vehicles Use during Coronavirus Pandemic, on May 10th a briefing note was received which outlined certain prevention measures and updated control guidance to be considered in the regulation of Private Hire Vehicles
Zedcarz believe these scientific, trusted and credible recommendations are extremely important and in the context of a Surrey and London emerging from lockdown in the coming weeks, Zedcarz Group have created and implemented safety measures based on the STAC briefing note as below.
- Stay at home guidance and social distancing measures between drivers and passengers
- Hand Hygiene for drivers and passengers
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Cleaning of Vehicles
- Ensuring drivers that are symptomatic do not work
Individuals who have symptoms of possible COVID-19, or who live in a household with someone with possible COVID-19 should be self-isolating and should not travel by taxi or PHV. Zedcarz drivers are trained to ask potential travellers if they are safe to travel, and will only permit passengers that are non-symptomatic (fever and cough), to travel.
Zedcarz are ensuring that everything possible is being done in order for drivers and passengers occupying the vehicle are allowing for 2m social distancing (or maximum possible distance). Where it is not possible to remain 2m apart, drivers and passengers should face away from each other, rather than face-to-face if possible. Where face-to-face contact cannot be avoided, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible
Zedcarz are also ensuring Good Ventilation practices (i.e. keeping the windows open) which can help to reduce the risk of transmission. Air conditioning or ventilation on vehicles are set to extract and not recirculate the air within the vehicle (where possible).
Hand and respiratory hygiene for drivers and passengers in taxis and PHVs
PHE has published guidance for employers regarding hand hygiene, and which is being followed by Zedcarz Group drivers and staff, this includes;
- Drivers and passengers ensuring hands are being washed more regularly than normal, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- After each journey, drivers are washing there hands, where no water source is available Zedcarz have provided hand santizer gel with an alcohol content above 60% to be used as a substitute.
- Hand santizer is being kept in the vehicles at all times
- Drivers have been adviced to not accept cash where possible, taking alternative payment methods.
Use of Personal Protective Equipment for protection of drivers and passengers in Private Hire Vehicles
There are a number of challenges that needs to be considered regarding wearing of face masks and gloves for all drivers and passengers to stop the spread of infection.
There’s very little evidence of widespread benefit from use of medical masks outside of clinical or care settings as to be effective medical masks must be used appropriately. Zedcarz have trained staff on proper use of Face Masks to ensure effectiveness, this includes wearing Face Masks correctly, changed frequently, removed properly, disposed of safely and used in combination with good universal hygiene behaviour.
For the safety of our drivers and passengers zedcarz group are not installing partition screens in our private hire vehicle fleet.
There is no evidence available that demonstrates that partition screens in private hire vehicles reduces the risk of transmission of Covid-19 infection. Partitions in PHV’s do not provide a fully sealed compartment which completely separates the driver from the passenger. Therefore, whilst it is possible that partitions may reduce the risk of transmission of infection, the risk would not be eliminated entirely. On the contrary vehicle manufactures and driving standard have proved that partitioning screen could prove to be more dangerous if involved in an accident.
In alignment with advice from World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England (PHE), Zedcarz Group have implemented enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures in combination with medical grade PPE for all drivers, this has shown to be the most effective practice in protecting passengers and drivers from Covid-19 infection.