We've gathered frequently asked Q&A regarding Point-to-Point Personal Transport drivers & passengers during COVID-19, from the Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria FAQ here.
General COVID-19 Q&A
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus which affects humans and animals. Some Coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold, and others such as SARS can cause more serious illness. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath, and can take up to 14 days to develop.
HOW IS COVID-19 TRANSMITTED?
COVID-19 spreads through close contact with an infected person, mostly face-to-face or within a closed space. It can’t jump across a room or be carried for long distances in the air.
WHAT IS A CLOSE CONTACT?
A close contact is a person who has been face to face for at least 15 minutes with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or has been in the same closed space for at least two hours, when they were potentially infectious.
You may be a close contact if you:
are living in the same household or household-like setting (for example a boarding school or hostel)
have direct contact with the bodily fluids or laboratory specimens of a confirmed case
have spent two hours or longer in the same room
have had face-to-face contact with a confirmed case for more than 15 minutes, in any other setting not listed above.
If you are a close contact, you have a significant risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.
HOW CAN I REDUCE MY RISK OF DEVELOPING COVID-19?
Take the following steps to reduce your exposure and chance of getting ill with COVID-19:
Wash your hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds.
Dry your hands with a paper towel or hand dryer.
Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
If you don’t have a tissue on hand, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.
Stop shaking hands or kissing as a greeting.
Stay at home if you feel sick.
If you take medication make sure you have enough. Get vaccinated for the flu (influenza) when the vaccine is available in April. It isn’t yet known whether COVID-19 could significantly increase the risk of influenza infection.
Phone your doctor or the DHHS hotline – 1800 675 398 – if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do. Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep.
Wear a face mask.
Buy an alcohol-based sanitiser with over 60 percent alcohol.
Avoid crowds if possible. If you can’t, keep the time spent in a crowd short.
WHAT IS 'SOCIAL DISTANCING'?
Social distancing is a way to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. It involves changing your social habits to reduce the risk of transmission, and is beneficial to yourself and your community.
Social distancing is effective, but by itself it can’t eliminate the risk of transmission. It includes:
staying home when unwell
avoiding large crowds and gatherings which are non-essential
avoiding small gatherings, in enclosed spaces, that are non-essential
keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and others
avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment
minimising contact such as shaking hands, hugging and kissing especially with people at a higher risk, such as people with the elderly and those with existing medical conditions.
Q&A for Drivers & Passengers
CAN A PASSENGER USE THE DRIVER'S VEHICLE IF THEY ARE DISPLAYING SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
Wherever possible, unwell passengers should use a personal mode of transport to minimise exposure to others. If a passenger needs to use a taxi, hire or rideshare vehicle to travel to a location for isolation and is displaying symptoms, then they should avoid contact with the driver and stay more than 1.5 metres away from them.
Ideally the passenger would travel in a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) or High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and thus maintain a safe distance from the driver.
The passenger should sit in the back seat, and hand sanitisers should be available to both the passenger and driver. The air conditioner/heating setting should be set to external airflow mode, as opposed to recycled.
If the driver believes a passenger hasn’t taken the above precautions and they can’t provide a safe service as a result, then they may choose to refuse or terminate the trip. It is never ok to refuse or cancel a trip based on a passenger’s nationality, disability or cultural background. There are equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws that apply to fare refusal. The driver should also be mindful of passenger safety at all times.
CAN THE DRIVER ASK PASSENGERS TO APPLY DISINFECTANT HAND SANITISER?
While passengers aren’t required to apply hand sanitiser, the driver can certainly offer it to their passenger. The driver should also clean and disinfect surfaces in their vehicle which they and their passengers touch, as well as wash their own hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser, regularly.
CAN THE DRIVER REFUSE CASH AS PAYMENT?
Digital and contactless payment methods may assist in reducing contact between drivers and passengers. If the driver does decide to receive cash, they should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water or apply hand sanitiser after handling it. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
HOW CAN DRIVERS KEEP THEIR VEHICLE CLEAN AND ARE THEY REQUIRED TO CLEAN THEIR VEHICLE AFTER EACH TRIP TO MINIMISE THE IMPACT OF THE VIRUS?
Drivers should regularly clean and disinfect surfaces in their vehicle which they and their passengers touch.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser, regularly.
Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
Drivers should keep a box of tissues in their vehicle.
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