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Oral Reply by Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Amy Khor to Parliamentary Question on whether there are enough measures taken to protect taxi and private hire car drivers who ferry passengers to and from their PCR test venues

03 Nov 2021 In Parliament

Ms Yeo Wan Ling asked the Minister for Transport in light of the new COVID-19 protocols where patients waiting for their polymerase chain reaction test results should return home via private transport, what are the measures taken to protect our point-to-point drivers when they are ferrying such passengers.

Mr Liang Eng Hwa asked the Minister for Transport 

a.     whether there are adequate taxis and private transport to ferry passengers to and return from Swab and Send Home (SASH) clinics; 

b.     whether the drivers are sufficiently protected; and 

c.     whether the vehicles are kept sanitised and safe.

Reply by Senior Minister of State for Transport and Sustainability and the Environment Dr Amy Khor

1.     Persons who feel unwell and are travelling to and from their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test venue are required to commute via private transport, which includes taxis or private hire cars (PHCs). As these persons are taking regular taxis or PHCs, there is an adequate supply to meet their needs.

2.     These passengers are required to inform their taxi and PHC drivers about their health status so that the drivers may take appropriate precautions. Drivers have been advised to switch off the air-con when ferrying these passengers, wind down their windows during and after each trip, and clean their vehicles after the trips. Passengers should also sit at the back, diagonally from the driver. The Ministry of Health has assessed that these measures are sufficient to minimise the risk of in-vehicle transmission of the virus, and there is no need for extra precautionary measures, such as having drivers put on full personal protective equipment. Furthermore, about 98% of taxi and PHC drivers are fully vaccinated.