Coronavirus information for licensees
For general information about coronavirus and travelling safely in London, see our coronavirus pages.
Personal Protective Equipment - general information
The Government continues to advise people to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially when they come into contact with people they do not usually meet, when rates of transmission are high.
We strongly recommend that taxi and private hire drivers, and passengers, wear a face covering at all times when in a taxi or private hire vehicle (PHV).
Cleaning your licensed vehicle
After each journey, you should prepare your vehicle for the next passenger.
This video has been created specifically for taxi and private hire licensees to demonstrate how to effectively and efficiently clean your vehicle to keep you and your passengers safe.
Before you start, it is important that you find a safe environment to park your vehicle, where you can safely move around the outside of it without any risk to yourself or others.
Make sure you're wearing protective gloves and a face covering, and that you're in a well-ventilated area. Your anti-microbial product should be applied using a trigger spray bottle and fresh rags or paper cloth, that should be disposed of after use. They should be wrapped in a plastic bag and disposed of in general waste. Anti-microbial products kill or slow the spread of micro-organisms such as viruses and are important in helping to prevent the spread of harmful microbes.
There are multiple household cleaning products you can use to help stop the spread of coronavirus in your vehicle.
For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions (hydrogen peroxide or sodium hypochlorite), alcohol solutions with at least 60% alcohol, and certain anti-viral household disinfectants can be used effectively. Detergent, such as washing up liquid, is also a cost-effective cleaning product for combating coronavirus.
Disinfectants such as household cleaners, commonly available in all supermarkets, can also be used. If you are buying disinfectant, check the product information to make sure it says it combats enveloped viruses including influenza and human coronaviruses. The product should contain benzalkonium chloride, ideally with a concentration exceeding 0.1% by volume.
When using these products, it is recommended that gloves are used to protect from substances that can damage sensitive skin.
It is important to clean dirty surfaces before sanitisation, as the cleaning product will work better on a physically clean surface. Once this is complete, starting on the outside of your vehicle, begin by cleaning all door handles that have been used, and the handle for the boot, if it has been used.
Then clean the interior surfaces that the passenger may have come into contact with, including:
- Window controls
- Door handles
- Internal grab handles
- Seats, seatbelts and clips
- Light switches
- Payment terminal, if you have one
All taxis are fitted with a permanent partition and some private hire vehicles now have a temporary partition screen. If there is a partition in your vehicle, this should also be properly cleaned. Once clean, surfaces should be left undisturbed for 10 minutes to allow for proper disinfection.
End of shift
At the end of your shift, there are other areas that you should also clean in addition to the ones already mentioned - these are the surfaces that only you (the driver) are likely to have come into contact with. They are as follows:
- The steering wheel and related controls
- Your keys
- Any buttons (including radio and heating or A/C controls)
- Rear-view mirror adjuster
- Handbrake lever or button
When you have finished cleaning your vehicle, you should keep the doors or windows open for 5 minutes to make sure it's properly ventilated. If any virus is present in the air, the dilution effect will significantly reduce the viral count and therefore reduce the risk of spreading the infection. You should then wash your hands for a full 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser.
Safely operating TPH services
It is important to wash or sanitise your hands.
You must continue to provide support to disabled passengers to safely enter and exit your vehicle and assist with their luggage and/or mobility equipment if required.
You should ask passengers to sit as far from you as possible.
Open windows when carrying passengers and/or use the car's vents to bring in fresh air from outside. You should not use the recirculated air option for the car's ventilation system when carrying passengers.
Passengers should be reminded to wash or sanitise their hands after the journey. You should endeavour to take contactless payment wherever possible. If this is not possible, then you should wash your hands with soap and water or use sanitiser after handling money.
Mental health and wellbeing
We know that this is a challenging period and so we all need to be extra vigilant with our mental health and wellbeing.
Please visit our dedicated health and wellbeing page for more information.
Temporary partition screens in private hire vehicles
Our role is to ensure the installation of any screens, and the materials used, comply with government and industry regulations and our requirements as the licensing authority.
For information on approved screens and the installation process, please see our policy page.
Driver and vehicle licensing
Driver assessment centres
Topographical testing for PHV drivers and Knowledge of London appearances for Taxi driver applicants will continue at our driver assessment centres (Topographical, SERU, ELR and Knowledge of London).
Topographical, SERU and ELR assessments for PHV drivers and Knowledge of London appearances for taxi driver applicants continue at our driver assessment centres with measures in place to reduce the risk to staff and candidates and we strongly recommend that applicants to wear a face covering at our assessment centres.
NSL vehicle licensing inspection centres
Our vehicle licensing inspection centres continue to operate with appropriate safety measures in place. We strongly recommend that customers wear a face covering at inspection sites.
The quickest and most efficient way to make a booking for a vehicle inspection remains the online booking portal. The online portal allows you to book or reschedule an appointment at your own convenience 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
However, we appreciate that some licensees prefer to book their inspection over the phone, so we are currently trialling phone lines remaining available over the weekend. Call 043 222 5555 to make a booking, 8am - 5pm, seven days a week.
Keeping up to date with the latest information
It is important to keep up to date with the latest information provided in our TPH Notices.
These can all be found on our Notices and consultations webpage. We use these notices to communicate key information about coronavirus that is relevant to the taxi and private hire trades.
Any new notice will be emailed to all licensees on our mailing list, we also use this to send our weekly driver email which also contains key information and the latest updates. If you are not already on our mailing list, you can sign up to it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage licensees to ensure the contact details (email and telephone) provided to TfL are up to date. This enables us to provide you with important regulatory information such as the aforementioned TPH Notices. If you need to let us know of any changes to your contact information or if you aren't already receiving our weekly email, please email email@example.com with your driver licence number in the subject heading.