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New COVID-19 safety measures and infection control training for taxi and minicab services

To keep taxi drivers and customers safe, over 50 taxi and private hire drivers licensed by Watford Borough Council have already signed up to specialist infection control e-training.

The specialist training, which is regularly updated, helps drivers understand a range of infection control methods and changing rules specifically in regard to Covid-19.

The training course is open to all drivers and, under the council’s Travel with Confidence, scheme will soon be available across the county.

It has six different sections which take about 10-15 minutes each and focus on topics such as current legislation, personal hygiene and vehicle cleanliness. Drivers can fit the training in around their work day, as the e-learning platform allows people to stop and start and pick up where they left off. If you are a driver licensed by Watford Borough Council and you want to complete the training, please contact travelwithconfidence@watford.gov.uk.

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “I am very pleased that we are leading the way on this transport initiative. Our programme gives drivers the information and guidance they need to operate safely, and I would urge people to look out for the confidence mark in order to make a safe choice when deciding on a taxi or minicab. The council wants to make sure local people can feel confident when taking a taxi and minicab that as much as possible has been done by the driver to keep everyone safe and reduce the spread of the virus.”

New rules introduced on 23 September now mean that customers who can wear a face covering or mask must do so when using taxi or private hire services. Until now this has been guidance but not law. These latest changes bring taxi and private hire services in line with other public transport such buses and trains.

Drivers are not legally required to wear a face coverings, but the Department for Transport and the council continue to advise that drivers should wear a face covering if possible when they are unable to maintain social distancing in passenger facing roles.

The ‘Travel with Confidence’ scheme aims to make people feel more confident taking a taxi or minicab, with taxi providers displaying a ‘Confidence Mark’ to show that the car’s driver has gained the safety accreditation through completing a tailored programme of support. For more information, please visit www.watford.gov.uk/travel-with-confidence.