Coronavirus/COVID-19: Guidance for Community Transport
As the Covid-19 pandemic shifts into a new phase, the UK is beginning to explore what ‘endemic’ Covid means for everyone. Governments across the country are trying to understand what living with this disease means for our citizens, in terms of ongoing protections, restrictions, testing and tracing transmission.
For the Community Transport sector, who have responded rapidly at every stage of the pandemic with care and a community focus, there is a balance to be struck in ensuring passengers are supported to travel safely and connect with their communities. While legislation and guidance may change, the need to protect the safety and wellbeing of staff, volunteers and passengers remains of the highest priority.
At CTA we recognise that this changing legal landscape may create further uncertainty for CT operators. As ever, local restrictions must be considered in the context of your own operation, staff, volunteers, and passengers, and consider your risk assessments so you can make a clear decision about what services you run and how you run them. Ultimately, it is up to you, in line with the restrictions where you are, to decide what measures you put in place to deliver your services safely.
COVID-19 remains a risk
COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others.
Understanding the risks of COVID-19
In general, the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is higher in crowded and enclosed spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious and limited fresh air. There are still cases of COVID-19 in circulation and there is a risk you could catch or pass on the virus, even once you are fully vaccinated.
Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer
Meeting outdoors vastly reduces the risk of airborne transmission, but this may not always be possible. If you’re indoors (including in a vehicle), you should let fresh air in to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
Wear a face covering
Whilst there is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering in any of the UK’s nations, the Government suggests that you continue to wear one in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially where you come into contact with people you do not usually meet.
What information are you looking for?
At CTA, we’re here to help – below you can find the official guidance in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as other useful resources. As it has been throughout the pandemic, our Advice Service is also available for CTA members, so if there’s any information you need that we haven’t provided, or if you would like to talk through your organisation’s best course of action, please do get in touch with our team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can use the links below to jump to the specific information that you’re looking for.
With the COVID-19 vaccination programme now fully rolled out across the country, many community transport providers are getting involved with making sure that members of their community can access both doses of the vaccine and boosters. There are also questions about volunteers and members of staff getting vaccinated, as well as what implications passenger numbers have on vehicle capacity.
When you make any decision about managing risk on your services, it’s important to make sure that you have a comprehensive risk assessment in place. With the support of CTA members from across the UK, CTA produced community transport specific templates and resources relating to COVID-19 risk assessments which CTA members can download from ctauk.org/advice-resources/risk-assessment-and-management.
If you’re not a CTA member, you can still download our ‘How To’ guide for risk assessments, as well as a COVID-19 specific risk assessment template below.
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges for all community transport providers. While some have been able to adapt their services to the changing landscape, many have had to scale back their services or even shut altogether. We’ve put together a checklist intended for community transport operators that are restarting their services or have recently done so.
Funding is more important than ever for community transport providers as we continue to recover from Covid-19 and restart services.This page contains links to a number of different sources of funding and information. Given the uncertain situation that we are still in, many funders are continuing to adapt their priorities and funding programmes to respond to the emerging needs of communities. Before committing your time and effort to apply to a particular fund, you will need to carefully check the eligibility criteria, funding aims and if there are any deadlines.
CTA Advice Service: The CTA team are currently working remotely, so to ensure you speak to the right person first time, please email email@example.com to receive a call back for advice and support. Our advice service operates 10-4pm Monday-Friday.
Advice Service Drop-in: Every Friday, the CTA advice team hold an online drop-in session for members to talk to us, and each other, about their ideas, concerns and questions. It’s a great way to get to know the CTA team and your fellow community transport providers – so if you’d like to book onto the next meeting, you can book your place at ctauk.org/events, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll send you a link.
Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: 12 Hilton Street M1 1JF. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.