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This protocol is a draft. It has not yet been accepted as protocol and may be incorrect or poorly cited. Please do not use this in your work until it has been accepted.
Please see #protocols on Slack to discuss this protocol further.
This page is specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our covid protocol still focuses on somewhat older science relating to droplet transmission. We are currently reviewing this. It will be updated rapidly.
When should you be ridesharing?
- You should only consider ridesharing if there is no other way to achieve an essential task such as...
- Providing care for someone
- Going to work
- Attending an essential appointment
- Leaving an unsafe situation (eg domestic violence)
- This list is non-exhaustive and there may be circumstances not on this list where you will need to ride share
- You should not rideshare if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
- However, when assessing the risks you should be mindful that the disease may still be transmitted by people who have no symptoms
Before your journey
- Consider if there is any safer alternative way to carry out your task
- Consider whether or not anyone else needs to come, in order to limit the number of passengers
- Discuss risks and hygiene procedures with your household to check how comfortable everyone is with the potential journey
- Discuss risks with the people you will be ridesharing with and check that you are all comfortable with each other’s understanding of hygiene procedures
- Plan routes to be as quick as possible, while considering rest breaks for access reasons
- Prepare journey to minimise the need to fill up petrol - consider a separate trip to petrol station before your ridesharing journey.
- Clean frequently-handled areas of the vehicle with bleach solution, warm soapy water, or anti-microbial disinfectant, e.g.:
- Outside/inside door/boot/trunk handles
- Steering wheel
- Gear stick and handbrake
- Digital/radio controls
- Seatbelts and seat belt fastenings
- Window controls
- If using bleach solution,
- Mix 1 part bleach to 50 parts water
- Prepare this no more than 24 hours before you use it, as the active ingredient degrades rapidly.
- Wear gloves to protect your skin when applying
- Air the vehicle well during and after cleaning
- Do not apply to seats, as it may damage the fabric/leather
- Remove rubbish such as empty drinking bottles from the car
What to take
- Take hand sanitizer if you have any
- Prepare face coverings:
- use surgical masks if widely available, otherwise use tightly-woven cotton fabric
- bring a change of mask/face covering if you have one, especially if your journey will last more than 2 hours.
- If you may need to eat or drink on the journey, take paper towels to lay your mask on
- Take disposable bags to store used masks and other potentially-contaminated items
During your journey
- Put on face coverings and wash hands before entering the vehicle
- Seat yourselves as far away from each other as possible
- Open all windows as widely as possible. In bad weather, leave them open as far as you can, and open them fully at regular intervals.
- Keep your faces directed towards the open windows as much as possible, especially if you feel you are going to cough or sneeze.
- Talk only when necessary during the journey - talking will increase the number of infectious particles you may emit.  
- Do not use air-conditioning or heating systems which recirculate air from inside the car: this may spread infectious droplets throughout the vehicle 
- For drivers - when your windows are open, maintain as much distance as possible from cyclists and pedestrians, 2m at absolute minimum
- Considering playing music or a podcast as a form of entertainment, in lieu of prolonged conversation!