Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on the business of many taxi drivers. They have seen a very big fall in the number of passengers needing their services as people faced lockdown resulting in people not going out to the likes of theatres, clubs and restaurants and not needing a lift to the airport to fly off to a sunnier climate on holiday. This has meant that a huge percentage of taxi drivers have seen a significant drop in income despite many working extremely long hours to try to improve their income levels.
However, another worrying issue relates to the number of taxi drivers who have contracted COVID -19 and died from the disease. According to data published by the Office for National Statistics on the 11th May 2020, there were 1,612 male deaths due to the coronavirus in the period up to and including the 20th April 2020 in the age bracket 20 to 64 in England and Wales. Apparently, 76 of those deaths were male taxi drivers, cab drivers and chauffeurs. That equates to 36.4 deaths per 100,000 households and that is the second largest number of deaths when comparing occupations behind security guards and related occupations where there were 45.7 deaths per 100,000 households.
We are sure that this figure will worry taxi drivers and just shows the potential risk that taxi drivers are taking when they pick up a customer. It is important that taxi drivers take some form of precautions when picking up and dropping off passengers such as perhaps only allowing passengers to sit in the rear of the taxi, installing some form of screen between the front and the rear of the taxi, wiping all areas of the taxi before and after a passenger has been inside, insisting that passengers wear masks and preferably only accepting contactless card payments. We hope that this is of benefit.
Hull taxi are making a huge difference to the way they operate, with rigorous new cleaning schedules and a full checklist of passenger safety procedures.