Covid-19 Guidance for Volunteer Drivers
The following guidance is based on the latest government information and uses a ‘common sense’ approach to volunteer driving whilst staying safe. It is particularly relevant for volunteer drivers who may be accompanying clients to receive their vaccination:
- You should not be asked to transport someone with possible or confirmed COVID-19 illness.
- Be vigilant about washing your hands before leaving your own house. The client should be advised to do the same when booking transport. Please reiterate this to the client before they leave the house.
- Carry hand sanitiser and wipes for both you and the client to use if required. Take a bag with you for their disposal.
- Ensure both driver and passenger(s) wear a face covering at all times. The client should be advised of this when booking transport. Where feasible use a single use disposable surgical mask (VARB can access a supply of these for volunteers – please get in touch if needed firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Avoid touching the face covering/mask. If this is required use hand sanitiser at the first opportunity.
- Avoid entering a client’s house unless it is absolutely vital to do so e.g. to help with carrying their walker over the threshold.
- Try to minimise direct contact with clients, whilst recognising that it may be impossible to do so completely e.g. where a frail client just needs an arm to lean on to get in or out of the car or help putting their seat belt on. If this is the case sanitise your hands when re-entering the vehicle.
- Try to maintain social distancing; where feasible ask clients to sit in the near-side back seat (diagonally opposite the driver), which is what most do when taking a taxi. If you are taking a carer as well, it is prudent for them to sit beside the driver; side by side travel is advocated as there is not a direct line of air flow as there would be if the passenger is sitting directly behind the driver.
- You may wish to have windows open for additional ventilation – but please use your own judgement.
- Before and after every trip, use anti-bacterial wipes or anti-bacterial spray on car door handles (inside and out) and where feasible any surface the client may touch including grab handles, seatbelt and the handles of any walker or mobility aid that you have transported.
- In ‘normal times’ most drivers sit in waiting rooms, during a client’s appointment. We would encourage drivers to wait in their vehicle, although you may still help the client to access the hospital or GP’s surgery where they will be greeted by medical staff. Ensure both the client and yourself make use of hand sanitiser when leaving the premises, this is usually available adjacent to entrance/exit doors.
- As Government guidance is constantly evolving the following link may be of use: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely–2/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely
Remember at all times to only undertake activities that you feel comfortable with. Use your judgement and stay safe.
(With thanks to Hart Voluntary Action)