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COVID-19: Dubai taxis start removing isolation barriers

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Drivers continue to follow health and safety measures against COVID-19. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Plastic sheet barriers installed in Dubai taxis to isolate drivers from riders are now being removed following recommendations from Dubai’s Supreme Committee for Crisis and Disaster Management, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) confirmed exclusively to Gulf News on Friday.

Isolation barriers in all airport taxis, however, will remain in place, the RTA added.

RTA said the decision has been made according to the directives received from Dubai’s Supreme Committee for Crisis and Disaster Management and according to international best practices.

Dubai Airport Taxi drivers have started receiving notices from their operators to bring their vehicles to the garage to remove the plastic sheet barriers.

Adherence to safety protocols

Pakistani taxi driver Khan Zada Mohd Aqeel told Gulf News that the plastic sheet installed in his taxi back in April was removed two days ago.

“But we continue to strictly follow all health and safety measures against COVID-19 such as wearing face masks and gloves, sanitising the vehicle and allowing only two passengers seated at the back and no passenger in front,” added Khan, who has been driving in Dubai for six years.

According to the RTA, all Dubai taxis undergo daily sanitisation and disinfection. Hand sanitisers are also available on-board, the authority added.

“Taxi drivers strictly adhere to preventive practices including constantly wearing masks and gloves. They also follow strict guidelines in opening and closing taxi doors to minimise contact and infection in line with directives aimed at protecting the health and safety of the community,” RTA added.

Back in April, RTA’s Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) has also launched a self-sanitising booth for taxi drivers at their residence in Muhaisnah.

“Since Dubai airport taxi drivers are in frequent contact with riders, we considered taking an extra measure to protect them against the virus. The process involves disinfecting the uniforms and shoes of drivers by the end of their daily shifts. The self-sanitising booth installed at the entry of drivers accommodation at Muhaisnah, provides a 360-degree spray of sanitising materials around the body,” noted Nasir Al-Haj, director of assets at DTC.