Take note of these coronavirus ride-sharing tips

As many South Africans return to work, they may once again be relying on carpooling or ride-sharing to get to their destination.

Under level 4 lockdown, however, there are strict rules governing how this can be done.

Strict rules still apply

Eugene Herbert, the managing director of MasterDrive, says the main regulation is the reduction of the number of people in a car to three.

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“Other legal requirements include wearing masks and leaving after 5am due to curfew. Another important regulation is to have a permit that allows you to travel to work.

“Yet, even with these restrictions in place, travelling in a vehicle with people that you have not been in lockdown with, still exposes you to a higher risk of contracting the virus. Consequently, each person should follow additional procedures to further reduce this risk,” Herbert adds.

Here are a few tips:

  • If you are able to, travel to work by yourself rather than carpool. The considerable decrease in the petrol price will also assist with this.
  • If this is impossible, agree between yourselves to sanitise the car daily.
  • Require passengers to complete a risk questionnaire daily. If any person starts to show symptoms or displays high risk, arrange for them to see a doctor.
  • If there are only two people in the car, the passenger should sit in the back not the passenger seat.
  • Keep sanitiser in the car for the driver and passengers.
  • Request all passengers to put their belongings in the boot.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in the vehicle by keeping the windows open.

For ride-share drivers

  • Uber or similar rideshare drivers must sanitise the car after each client. 
  • If you transport a client that does not declare their risk or does not follow the recommended guidelines, you are within your rights to refuse service.
  • These drivers should monitor their own health as well and if you display symptoms, see a doctor before resuming work.
  • Place signage in your vehicles requesting passengers to follow the correct hygiene etiquette.

While not travelling with other people is often impossible, ensuring you take every possible precaution to mitigate the risk is not.

“Protect yourself, your family and your colleagues by following the basic rules and recommendations,” Herbert concludes.