PPE is provided for occupational safety and should be worn as per Tables 1 and 2.
5.11.1 Car sharing for Healthcare professionals including trainees/students
Wherever possible, car sharing should be avoided with anyone outside of your household or your support bubble. This is because the close proximity of individuals sharing the small space within the vehicle increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19. All options for travelling separately should be explored and considered such as;
- Healthcare staff travelling separately in their own cars
- Geographical distribution of visits – can these be carried out on foot or by bike?
- Use of public transport where social distancing can be achieved via use of larger capacity vehicles
However, it is recognised that there are occasions where car sharing is unavoidable such as;
- Healthcare staff who carry out community visits
- Healthcare staff who are commuting with students as part of supported learning/mentorship
- Healthcare staff working in emergency response vehicles
- Healthcare staff living in areas where public transport is limited and car sharing is the only means of commuting to and from the workplace
Where car sharing cannot be avoided, individuals should adhere with the guidance below to reduce any risk of cross transmission;
- Staff (and students) must not travel to work/car share if they have symptoms compatible with a diagnosis of COVID-19.
- Ideally, no more than 2 people should travel in a vehicle at any one time
- Use the biggest car available for car sharing purposes
- Car sharing should be arranged in such a way that staff share the car journey with the same person each time to minimise the opportunity for exposure. Rotas should be planned in advance to take account of the same staff commuting together/car sharing as far as possible
- The car must be cleaned regularly (at least daily) and particular attention should be paid to high risk touch points such as door handles, electronic buttons and seat belts. General purpose detergent is sufficient unless a symptomatic or confirmed case of COVID-19 has been in the vehicle in which case a disinfectant should be used.
- Occupants should sit as far apart as possible, ideally the passenger should sit diagonally opposite the driver.
- Windows in the car must be opened as far as possible taking account of weather conditions to maximise the ventilation in the space
- Occupants in the car, including the driver, should wear a fluid resistant surgical mask (FRSM) provided it does not compromise driver safety in any way.
- Occupants should perform hand hygiene using an alcohol based hand rub (ABHR) before entering the vehicle and again on leaving the vehicle. If hands are visibly soiled, use ABHR on leaving the vehicle and wash hands at the first available opportunity
- Occupants should avoid eating in the vehicle
- Passengers in the vehicle should minimise any surfaces touched – it is not necessary for vehicle occupants to wear aprons or gloves
- Keep the volume of any music/radio being played to a minimum to prevent the need to raise voices in the car
Adherence with the above measures will be considered should any staff be contacted as part of a COVID-19 contact tracing investigation.