North East Lincolnshire Council is encouraging taxi drivers and their passengers to wear a face covering when travelling.
Although it is not a legal requirement to wear a face covering, the council recommends that face coverings be worn wherever possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Face coverings were made compulsory on all forms of public transport from Monday 15 June in England, but taxis and private hire vehicle were excluded from this.
Although not a legal requirement, the Government advises that people should wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing such as taxis and private hire vehicles. A taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse to accept a passenger if they are not wearing a face covering.
A statement from the Department for Transport says: “The Secretary of State for Transport’s announcement that from 15 June face coverings will be required while using public transport in England does not cover taxis and private hire vehicles as the trade is already able to require (with limited exemptions) passengers to wear these. Taxi drivers are already able to refuse carriage to passengers where it is reasonable to do so. This might include those that are able but refuse to wear a face covering. Private hire vehicle operators can make the wearing of face covering a condition of hiring.”
Face coverings are not required to be worn by children under the age of three or those who may find it difficult to wear one correctly, such as passengers with breathing difficulties, young children or disabled passengers.