In response to the continued Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the Department for Transport has developed ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): safety screens for taxis and PHVs Guidance’ for the safe and appropriate fitting of separating screens between the front and rear of a taxi or private hire vehicle.
The guidance states that where social distancing guidelines cannot reliably be followed in full, fitting a screen can help to reduce the risk of virus transmission and should be one of a number of measures considered, but stresses that screens are not a replacement for the measures set out in Coronavirus (COVID-19): taxis and PHVs.
The guidance also makes it clear that the decision on whether to use a screen rests with the vehicle owner and the local licensing authority, stating
“Licensing of taxis and PHVs is a local government responsibility. If a licensing authority decides to specify requirements in respect of screens, they are encouraged to consider this guidance in developing their own licensing requirements for the fitment of interior screens to help prevent the spread of coronavirus”.
The installation of screens is one mitigation to prevent the transmission of the Coivid-19 virus from driver to passenger and vice-versa.
The guidance forms part of the Department for Transport’s Vehicle Safety Standards Information Sheets series, and licensing authorities are asked to be mindful of this guidance when they receive requests for approval for the installation of screens and/or panels.