30 Apr 20

COVID-19: Precautions to take when sharing mobility

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Sometimes travel is impossible to avoid so if you find yourself having to use shared mobility, ride-hailing services or hotel rooms, here are the precautions you need to take to avoid exposure to or spreading COVID-19.

Firstly, if you think you may be infected – DON’T TRAVEL!

Where Coronavirus is concerned, there are no precautions effective enough to warrant anyone travelling when sick. How will you know when testing kits are scarce and the advice is against going to your doctor’s surgery? The simple advice is that if you feel at all unwell (cough, headache, fever symptoms), self-isolate.

Assuming you’re not unwell, what can you do to keep yourself and others safe?

As a shared mobility customer

The advice is not to car share with people you don’t live with. But if you use a car, bike or scooter that is also used by other people, here’s what to do:

  1. Wash your hands immediately before and after.
  2. Carry a hand sanitiser with you that is at least 60% alcohol and use it regularly throughout your journey.
  3. As it is possible to disinfect and kill the virus on external surfaces, carry a pack of antibacterial surface wipes with you.
  4. Put luggage in the boot of cars, rather than on the seats.
  5. Use disposable gloves when cleaning and sanitising vehicles and dispose of them in a proper refuse bin as soon as you’re finished.
  6. In cars, clean the door handles, gear shifter, key fob, steering wheel, external touchpoints and – most importantly – the dashboard. As air is constantly being sucked over and circulated inside the car, the dashboard can harbour bacteria and viruses. Also clean door buttons, seat belts and touchscreens. You should do this every time you use the vehicle.
  7. Wear disposable gloves when filling up and using fuel pumps and keypads.
  8. Rather than harsh disinfectants, use a mild soap solution combined with leather conditioner on leather surfaces.

As a ride-hailing customer

  1. Alongside 1-4 above, keep your hands to yourself and use contactless or electronic payment options rather than cash when possible.
  2. Don’t lean into the cab to tell the driver where you want to go - keep a distance of at least two meters between yourself and them at all times.
  3. Keep the front passenger seat free, sit in the back.
  4. Take more than one cab if there are too many people in your party to keep the front seat free.

Using hotel rooms safely

Most hotels have a high standard of hygiene and it’s natural to expect that at times such as these they will be applying extra precautions but here are additional steps you can and should take:

  1. Wipe down surfaces with disinfecting wipes and increase your hand hygiene.
  2. Consider bringing your own pillowcase (which you should pack up in a separate plastic bag and launder immediately when you get home).
  3. Disinfect light switches, alarm clocks, landline phones and remote controls, cabinets, drawer handles, doorknobs, door locks, desk surfaces, information booklets and brochures.
  4. Take your own water bottle and don’t drink from hotel room glasses or ceramic mugs.
  5. Don’t touch your face or mouth with your hands.
  6. Avoid using the gym – exercise in your room instead or outside the hotel.
  7. Don’t unpack toiletries on to the bathroom shelf.
  8. Exercise caution when eating in hotel restaurants, particularly self-service breakfast areas.

Image copyright: Shutterstock.

Authored by: Alison Pittaway