Taxi drivers to get 1.5m face masks to combat Covid-19

London’s taxi and private hire drivers are to receive an additional 1.5 million face masks and 30,000 bottles of hand sanitiser, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.

The hygiene equipment will be distributed at car parks across the capital from Monday as part of a package to help drivers and passengers avoid being infected by coronavirus.

Short education videos have been created to provide guidance on how to clean a vehicle after each drop-off.

Drivers will receive a sticker to display on a car window to demonstrate they are “Covid prepared”.

The hand sanitiser bottles are supplied by Dettol.

Helen Chapman, TfL’s director of licensing, regulation and charging, said: “We know that the pandemic has been tough for taxi and private hire drivers, which is why we want to do all we can to help them prosper as restrictions are eased.

“We are providing this additional support to help boost the industry in the coming weeks, reassuring customers that vehicles are as safe and clean as they possibly can be.”

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, commented: “The licensed taxi trade in London has been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic.

“Taxi drivers need all the support they can get, at what continues to be an extremely challenging time.

“This is therefore a positive initiative, which should help to demonstrate to the public that taxi drivers are taking every possible precaution to keep their passengers safe, whilst continuing to provide the world class service London’s black cabs are known for.

“We hope that as a result and with lockdown now over and restrictions easing somewhat, that more people will choose to use taxis safely.”

One in five black cabs in London have been taken off the road since June, leading to hundreds being stored in fields dotted around the edge of London.