Like all responsible businesses, we have been monitoring and reacting to the advice of the Government on how best to ensure the well-being and safety of our customers, suppliers and colleagues during these unprecedented times. We continue to follow the advice and do what is right in order to keep everyone safety as our priority.
If there’s one thing this crisis has taught us, is that maintaining the integrity in the supply chain is critical to maintaining where possible a "normal service". We are committed to making that happen, but we should also de-brief with you post crisis to learn lessons and become collectively stronger for the future.
Whilst we are unable to meet with you in person, we continue to provide the customer and technical support you need. Our teams are using the technology available to us to ensure that we continue to provide you with operational support and customer service you would normally expect to receive.
Looking forward, our strategy remains to continue to follow the governments guidelines and whilst it was recently announced to very gradually restart the economy and ease the lock-down restrictions, we are focused on ensuring things such as social distancing remain in place in passenger transport for the foreseeable future. We are also on track to deliver some of the innovative solutions to ground transport, ideas such as first mile last mile and our cab pass solution will become available very soon, similarly we continue to lead on other products and technological solutions for the industry.
In the meantime, I want to reiterate that we are here for you and doing all we can to support you. We welcome your feedback and suggestions on how we can best work together throughout this period and we look forward to seeing you when life and business returns to normal.
We want to share some further details on where you may find government guidance and support to provide you with some considerations for some key topics currently being addressed in the industry.
Cleaning & Hygiene Measures
Good hygiene measures will help you to protect yourself and others, it is key to reducing the spread ofthe infection. Personal cleaning care and vehicle cleanliness is of paramount importance and we strongly request that operators and drivers take sensible and routine precautionary measures to protect both themselves and passengers, such as follows:
- Washing hands with soap and water or using sanitiser gels to kill germs regularly. It is advisable and recommended for drivers to keep a bottle of hand sanitiser gel in their vehicle with a minimum of at 60% alcohol content. Hand washing/sanitising should take place for at least 20 seconds
- Carrying tissues in their vehicle and for use to catch coughs and sneezes. Used tissues should be disposed of in a bin as soon as practically possible
- Where possible try to avoid handling cash and accept alternative payment methods such as debit/credit card
Cleaning vehicles with normal household disinfectant will reduce the risk of passing coronavirus infection on to other people. After each passenger journey, drivers should clean hard surfaces such as door handles, window winders, seat belts, card payment devices, the rear of the front seats and other surfaces passengers may have touched. Drivers should then wash/sanitise their own hands. A thorough clean of the vehicle with normal cleaning products should be completed at the end of each shift/working day. Licensees who share a taxi or private hire vehicle should consider regularly thoroughly cleaning the steering wheel, gear stick, radio equipment, handbrake, indicators, switches, handles, seat belts and any other hard surfaces.
In order to ensure your safety, we ask that our suppliers, drivers and passengers follow and adhere to the Government guidelines at all times.
The use of Protective Barriers /Safety Screens
Prior to installing a safety screen in a vehicle, the driver/ operator should contact their licensing authority to check that they will permit the installation and ensure that both the screen and installation complies to government and industry regulations, as well as the requirements of the licensing authority. Failure to do so could result in a breach of the license.
Although it is believed that screens can help with the safety and welfare of both passengers and drivers, there are further key areas of consideration that the responsible person of the vehicle needs to ensure they follow to ensure compliance, for example, fittings and equipment must comply with applicable regulations, insurance notified of any vehicle amendments, screens should be constructed with approved materials and they should not impede the driver’s vision or movement in any way. As these are purely considerations, it is important to note that the driver/ operator will need to make contact with their licensing authority in order for them to provide the right level of support and guidance.
There is an ever-increasing volume of government guidance available online. As this is being constantly revised and updated, we would recommend that you keep up to date with this guidance (please see Further Support Section).
We are also readily available to support our supply chain in directing them to suitable guidance.
Face Coverings /Gloves
The guidance suggests that there are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure. The evidence 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. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas.
Whilst face coverings are optional and not required by the law, if you choose to wear one, it is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off. To be effective, face masks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly, disposed of safely and used in combination with good universal hygiene behaviour. Appropriate use and disposal are essential to ensure that they are effective and to avoid any increase in transmission.
With regards to the use of gloves for protection it is important to note some guidance as following:
- Gloves, if used inappropriately, could increase the risk of transmission of infection
- Wearing of gloves should not discourage you to ensure adequate hand hygiene practices, including frequent hand washing with soap and water, and use of hand sanitiser where washing facilities are not available
- Wearing gloves does not prevent transmission of infection to the wearer if they touch their face whilst wearing gloves
- If gloves become contaminated, any objects that are touched with the gloves can also become contaminated
- It is recommended that gloves need to be changed each time the driver has touched cash. This may pose practical problems, as well as increasing infection risk during the changeover to new gloves so needs consideration
The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggest that one of the best ways to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by cleaning your hands frequently, ensuring social distancing, alongside changing habits, cleaning and regular hygiene practices
CMAC are working with our customers to recommend the booking of larger vehicles to aide with social distancing guidelines. We have put a temporary stop to Taxi Sharing for passengers not from the same household, and passengers are not to sit in the front seat.
We understand that our suppliers will be looking to ensure that the safety and duty of care elements of all involved is the highest priority and we understand that they will have their own risk assessments in place. Social distancing is difficult by the very nature of the vehicles that they operate, however, CMAC are working to share links that our suppliers can follow that will help them to assess and reviewall guidance surrounding social distancing and measures that they can put in place.
Where possible, passengers, must always endeavour to un/load their own luggage on to the vehicle and we would ask that drivers politely advise passengers on how to do this safely should this be required. Following the safe loading of the luggage a driver must ensure hands are cleaned with at a minimum the use of sanitiser gel with a minimum of 60% alcohol content.
Taxi and PHV drivers are still under the same obligation to provide reasonable assistance and make reasonable adjustments for disabled passengers. The guidance includes advice on measures that workers and passengers can take when it is not possible to maintain the recommended social distance.
The Government has published transport guidance on the safe provision of transport services during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are separate supporting documents for transport providers and for passengers (please see Further Support section for links). Both guidance documents cover all modes and set out government recommendations on who should be travelling and under what circumstances, along with how social distancing rules should be interpreted.
Further to the above, at this moment the focus is to continue to try and achieve a safer working arrangement for all parties, we are doing this by communicating with both yourselves and our suppliers to reinforce some of the government guidelines for Operators and Passengers via the below links
CMAC will continue to monitor Government Guidelines closely and will react to any changes issuing further guidance as and when necessary.