While we could be "climbing down the mountain" in the Prime Minister's words, it's still important we stay alert for the remainder of the pandemic. For this very reason, we have created this guide - meaning owner drivers, transport firms and those continuing to move back loads all over the country can continue to do so taking all appropriate precautions to stay safe.
These sections will apply specifically to hauliers, we would suggest if you're looking for advice in other fields to consult the .gov website to explore the means to appropriately protect yourself during the pandemic.
Currently, this protective equipment is proving to be difficult to come across, even for workers in care. For this reason, many of the public have taken it upon themselves to make their own means of protecting themselves.
Masks: While a mask covering your nose and mouth can't assure your safety, it can help to prevent further spreading of the virus. A mask can be made easily with some material such as cotton. If you already have a scarf, depending on the material it's very possible you could use this. It's important to clean this regularly to remove any bacteria that may latch onto the surface of the mask..
The most important thing with hands is to keep them
- As clean as possible. This can be maintained with the use of hand sanitiser, which should be used on a regular basis. More so, everytime you exit and re-enter your vehicle.
- Away from your face. Maybe you have an itch (especially if you have a lockdown beard) - remember to resist touching your face where you can.
- Protected, if you can - use gloves to prevent contact with the skin.
You can also minimise exposure by wearing sunglasses. As summer comes around, sunglasses will also help avoid further contact with those around you who could be coughing and sneezing,
Wearing your sunglasses when coming into contact with individuals can minimize exposure. Anything to help protect your face, especially if someone near or around you is coughing or sneezing.
One of the few times you will need to make physical contact besides signing deliveries off would be for refueling your vehicle. Many petrol stations require you to use a keypad to enter your payment info manually - some have set up contactless alternatives, or have gloves at the ready for you to use.
However, if you have no other option and all gloves have been used it is advised to use your knuckles when entering digits on the keypad rather than your fingerprint - as this area of the skin is much less sensitive.
Cash or credit
Naturally, where possible card should be used instead. Notes, even without the pandemic at hand could be considered unclean. Technology is continuing to grow over time, meaning lorry drivers have more options available for payment than ever before. With contactless available through cards as well as smartphone devices. (For which there are many guides to set-up online).
The reason contactless is being recommended, is that the COVID-19 virus along with other bacteria can remain on hard surfaces for up to 3 hours. Therefore, the more of us use contactless devices - the more of a chance further spread of the virus will be prevented.
One handy trick to note: opening doors by your elbows rather than hands. Elbows are just as easy to push doors with and as with knuckles - this area of the skin is much less sensitive and is usually covered with other fabric.
If you're out on the road and need to use public showers, it's suggested you also wear appropriate footwear - rather than going barefoot. This can be flip-flops, or other types of shoe. At the same time, be careful not to slip! This is advised because a wide range of bacteria can appear on a public bathroom floor. For this precise reason, a trucker's health must come first. Not only for coronavirus - but also to avoid potential risks for warts and verrucas on the foot.
Also be sure your items such as shampoo are kept in a plastic bag, meaning they also will not be covered in bacteria while you are using the public shower. Consider towel drying rather than using the public hair dryers, as they also can spread many bacteria.
Symptoms of Covid-19
If you are beginning to show signs of the virus, which can be as common as:
Struggling to breath
It is advised you begin self-isolation for up to 14 days. You can reach 111 to speak with an NHS advisor directly and refer to what your next steps should be. Similarly, if anyone else you meet shows symptoms, remind them of the resources and advice available to them.