Taxi drivers across Hertfordshire are being offered free online training to keep themselves – and their passengers – safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those drivers who successfully complete the course can display a ‘Travel with Confidence’ stickers in their cab or private hire vehicle.

And that’s designed to give a clear sign to customers that the risk of contracting Covid-19 during their journey has been minimised.

The course builds on the success of an initiative that’s been developed in Watford.

And it is being rolled out across the county by the Herts and Beds Licensing Group, with funding from Hertfordshire’s director of public health Jim McManus.

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In addition to the stickers, those drivers who complete the course also qualify for £100 towards the cost of a perspex screen to separate the drivers compartment.

Oliver Rawlings is service manager of licensing and enforcement at East Herts and chair of the Herts and Beds Licensing Group.

Mr Rawlings says the roll-out of the course recognises the proportion of drivers who may be more vulnerable to the serious effects of Covid-19 – either because they are from a BAME background or because of their age.

But he also points to the significant proportion of regular customers who have underlying health concerns themselves – often using taxis  or private hire vehicles to travel to and from hospital.

And he hopes passengers will specifically ask for vehicles where drivers have completed the training.

“It’s about drivers protecting themselves and their customers,” said Mr Rawlings. 

Meanwhile Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor is also encouraging people to look out for the Travel with Confidence stickers when deciding how to travel around the Watford borough.

Commenting on the scheme, he said: “Offering safe ways to travel around Watford is vital as we start to get the town back on its feet.

“We want to make sure local people can feel confident when taking a taxi and minicab that everything has been done by the drivers and operators to keep passengers safe.

“I would encourage people to look out for the special mark and make a safe choice when deciding on how to travel.”