All unnecessary work related travel should be avoided for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. For non-essential work employees should travel by themselves in a vehicle. This can be achieved by:
Employees using a Council pool car, if available (and following the guidance given below)
Employees using their private vehicle and claiming excess mileage; or
Where employees are using a Council pool car for work related travel, consideration should be given to whether the operational benefits exceed the potential for workplace transmission of COVID-19 (refer to appropriate risk assessment). If this is not the case, employees should use their private vehicle for work related travel and claim excess mileage.
Vehicle sharing & essential work
In some situations it may not be reasonably practicable for employees to undertake essential work without vehicle sharing. If this is the case, no work should commence until a risk assessment has been undertaken for the work activity.
Employees undertaking essential work and vehicle sharing must do the following:
- Travel in a vehicle where there is 1m physical distancing between employees – typically this means sitting diagonally in a 5 or 6 seater vehicle.
- Travel in fixed pairs or groups for wherever possible
- Wear a face covering
- Minimise the journey time
Vehicle windows should be lowered wherever possible to increase ventilation whilst travelling in a vehicle. Additionally, vehicle ventilation systems should be set to draw fresh air in and not set to recirculation.
Vehicles that will have multiple users (such as pool cars) should be aired by opening the windows for a brief period (2-3 minutes) before and after use. If it is safe to do so, the doors should be opened instead to achieve this.
Touch points of vehicles with shared users (i.e. Council vehicles) should be cleaned with anti-viral wipes. These include:
- steering wheel & controls
- seat belt buckle
- dashboard & radio
- door handle
Employees with Individual COVID risk assessments
In the case of employees who have completed an individual COVID risk assessment that places them in the 'High' or Very High' category, they must maintain 2m physical distancing at all times. This means they can only travel as a second person in a council vehicle where 2m physical distancing can be observed i.e. a council minibus.