This page was updated on the 19 July 2021
The Government has decided to move to step 4 of the roadmap. The pandemic is not over. Cases are increasing rapidly and a third wave is underway. Step 4 does not mark the end of the need for caution and restraint. It is important to remember the pandemic is not over. Cases are currently rising, as are hospitalisations. Cases, hospitalisations and, sadly, deaths, will rise further as society and the economy reopen. Lifting Coronavirus restrictions does not mean that the risks from COVID-19 have disappeared. Vigilance must be maintained and people will be asked to make informed decisions and act carefully and proportionately, to manage the risks to themselves and others.
For more information see HM Government COVID-19 Response Summer 2021.
Businesses still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify. Many control measures that have been in place previously were there due to health and safety legislation rather than the specific coronavirus legislation. It remains very important to implement suitable control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between employees and members of the public.
When undertaking your risk assessment you must have regard to the available guidance. Following the guidance is not compulsory, unless specifically stated, and you are free to take other action, so long as the same level of protection is achieved. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to guidance. Failure to implement suitable control measures may lead to formal action being taken against the duty holder(s). See www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus for more information on COVID-19 risk assessments.
It is also important to remember that your risk assessment and subsequent controls will be influenced by the prevalence of COVID-19 in the general population of Preston, the numbers of people in Preston who have received their vaccine and the demographics of your customers (Age, general health etc). When the prevalence of COVID-19 in the general population is considered high then businesses will be expected to implement stricter control measures. When the prevalence of COVID-19 is lower in the general population then fewer or less strict control measures maybe acceptable.
Currently the prevalence of COVID-19 in population of Preston and Lancashire is very high and businesses will be expected to have more and stricter control measures. These include:
The Government has published transport guidance on the safe provision of transport services during the Covid-19 pandemic. There are separate guidance documents for transport providers and for passengers. Both guidance documents cover all modes.
The guidance sets out government recommendations on who should be travelling and under what circumstances, and how social distancing rules should be interpreted.It also includes information about cleaning practices.
Licensing Services has also produced a basic guide for Taxi drivers and operators during Covid-19.
Face coverings are not mandatory for drivers. However where there is no screen between a driver and passengers then we would encourage all drivers to wear a face covering when they have passengers in their vehicle.
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 (Such as a vehicle).
You should follow safe guidance for wearing a face covering, please visit the How to Wear a Face Covering Advice.
The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted. However, the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering.
Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances, noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings, and that the reasons for this may not be visible to others.
This includes (but is not limited to)
Taxi and private hire vehicle drivers are advised to make an assessment of risk as outlined in the transport operator guidance.
The acceptance of a booking request by a private hire vehicle operator is a decision made based on the operator's own assessment of risk. Any requirements for face coverings should be made clear to the passenger before the operator accepts the booking.
Taxi drivers can use this assessment to determine whether or not it is reasonable to admit a passenger who is not wearing a face covering, considering other mitigation's they put in place from their risk assessment. You can refuse to take a passenger if they are not wearing a face covering and they are not exempt.
This does not however absolve drivers of their duties under the Equality Act 2010.
Face covering resources from the DfT.
The installation of protective barriers is a decision for private hire vehicle operators and firm or individual operating the vehicle to make based on their own assessment of risk.
You may also wish to consider:
It is the Council's position that the decision to install a temporary safety screen during the current pandemic is a matter for vehicle owners, drivers and operators;
If you intend to fit a screen you must follow the government guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): safety screens for taxis and PHVs
Being able to identify and trace persons who maybe infectious remains a top priority for the government. You are strongly encouraged to display an official NHS QR code poster. Although not legally required to do so, this will support NHS Test and Trace to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 so that they can book a test. You can generate an NHS QR code poster online, to enable individuals to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app. You should also have a system in place to record contact details for those who do not have the app. Test and Trace Register Template [253.4KB]
If you do decide to obtain contact information you should put measures in place to make sure that the personal information that you collect, store and process is compliant with the GDPR requirements.
Yes, but individuals should not use taxis or private hire vehicle if:
Taxi and private hire vehicle 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.
There will be no face to face appointments for the foreseeable future.
Therefore you will be asked to complete Offence and Medical declarations and your Licence will most likely be extended. This procedure will remain in place until normal services can be resumed.
The Council is not currently processing any new applications during the Covid-19 emergency, however we are working to restore this service as soon as we are able.
Anybody wanting to apply should contact Antrec Limited on 0333 023 7450 to enrol for the next Induction course and your name will be held on a waiting list.
If you have any concerns or would like any advice please contact Licensing Services on 01772 906910 or firstname.lastname@example.org