COVID-19 safety guidelines for taxi and private hire drivers

COVID-19 safety guidelines for taxi and private hire drivers

Check for COVID-19 symptoms

For you

Only work if you are not putting anyone at risk.

You should not collect passengers if:

For passengers

You must ask customers if they have any COVID-19 symptoms of before you agree to carry them.

Get a test

If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms you can order free rapid (lateral flow) tests from GOV.UK.

Face coverings

From Tuesday 30 November 2021 passengers and drivers must wear a face covering

You may provide disposable face coverings to passengers. 

You may refuse to carry passengers not wearing face coverings. 

Some people and children under the age of 11 are exempt from wearing a face covering. You cannot refuse to carry a passenger with an exemption for not wearing a face covering.

Clean your vehicle inside and out, before each and every journey

Before starting your shift

You should wipe down all the surfaces in your vehicle that are likely to be touched, with disinfectant or alcohol hand gel. This includes any common contact points such as: 

  • door handles, inside and outside
  • safety belts
  • handholds
  • boot release

This must be done before starting your shift and after each and every journey.

Between shifts

You should clean the vehicle thoroughly between shifts. Especially if you share the vehicle with other drivers, and this includes the steering wheel and all controls.

Wash your hands


You should wash your hands as often as possible.

You should wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds whenever possible, and always after going to the toilet and before and after eating and drinking. 

Hand sanitizers

You should carry a suitable alcohol based hand gel or wipes to clean your hands: 

  • at the start of the day
  • regularly throughout the day
  • after assisting a customer physically
  • having contact with baggage or other items
  • after using a fuel pump and paying for your fuel

Keep your vehicle ventilated

You should keep your vehicle windows open as often as you can. This will increase air flow for you and your passengers.

Keep tissue and plastic bags in your vehicle

You should keep some plastic bags in your vehicle for yourself and separate bags for your passengers.

If you need to cough or sneeze then use a tissue and put them in a plastic bag. You can cough or sneeze into your arm if you do not have a tissue.

Passengers can put their tissues into their bag. You’ll need to have new bags for every passenger.

Take contactless payments

If you can, you should get contactless card payment facilities installed. 

This is a safer method of payment than handling cash.

Try to social distance yourself and your passengers

From 19 July 2021 all social distancing restrictions have been lifted. Lifting restrictions does not mean that the risks from COVID-19 have disappeared. Instead, you need to manage the risks to yourself and others.

Where possible try to avoid physical contact with your passengers. 

Ask customers to sit facing away from you if possible. 

If it’s not possible for customers to sit facing away from you, ask them to sit in the rear seat behind the front passenger seat.

If you have a larger group this might not be possible. You should assess the risk and follow the other safety guidelines.

Passengers with accessibility requirements may not be able to sit in the rear of the vehicle. You should risk assess each case to make sure you have taken appropriate steps to reduce risk to the customer and yourself.

If your vehicle breaks down, you and the passengers should get out of the vehicle if it’s safe to do so.

You may consider fitting a safety screen in your vehicle. If you decide to fit one, you should check the our guidance and requirements (pdf, 47KB) (opens new window) , and the government guidance on how to choose and fit a screen safely in a vehicle.

Collecting passengers with accessibility needs

You’re still under the same legal obligation to give reasonable assistance to passengers who may need it. This includes passengers who use wheelchairs. 

Taking passengers to the hospital

You should only take passengers to and from hospitals if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.