Is It Safe To Car-Share In The UK During Coronavirus?

coldsnowstorm/E+/Getty Images

When Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK government's plans to relax some lockdown restrictions on Sunday, May 10, many people had questions. Under the new guidelines, those who can't work from home are encouraged to get back to work — yet people were also urged to avoid public transport where possible. Workers without a car, maybe wondering if it's safe to carpool under lockdown rules?

Unfortunately, The Department of Public Transport advises finding other means of travel unless you're travelling in with someone from your own household. Instead they recommend "walking, cycling or using your own vehicle if you can."

In a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19, the government has introduced on social distancing measures which minimise people's contact and proximity with those outside their own households. Yet, as many people across the country are encouraged to return to work, the advice does mean those without a car or bike face a catch-22, especially if their place of work isn't within walking distance.

For these cases, the Department for Transport advises "if you have to travel with people outside your household group, try to share the transport with the same people each time and keep to small groups of people at any one time."

They also adds that this is an instance where "people may want to wear a face covering."

Keeping the car clean and well-ventilated are also listed as ways to help protect yourself when carpooling. "If people from different households use a vehicle (for example through a car share scheme), you should clean it between journeys using gloves and standard cleaning products," writes the Department of Public Transport.

"Make sure you clean door handles, steering wheel and other areas that people may touch," they add.

When travelling they recommend "keeping the car windows open" "facing away from each other" and also "seating arrangements to optimise distance between people in the vehicle."

As with other COVID-19 hygiene advice, if you have to be in close contact with people for work, then hand-washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds is recommended as soon as possible.