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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure MT-2020-23/1436 – measures in Malta

Taxi company adapts to COVID-19

Country Malta , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 June 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Measure added 16 November 2020 (updated 27 January 2021)

Background information

The taxi industry is one that has picked up in recent years. The Maltese traditionally do not make use of taxis for the daily commute, favouring private transport and public busses. The popularity of taxis increased over the last few years following an influx of foreign workers coupled with new taxi companies, including platform-based taxi companies.

The taxi industry's growth was hit by COVID-19 due to a sudden drop in commuters. Workers increasingly made use of remote working options, whereas others sought private transport options in order to reduce the chance of disease transmission.

Faced by these sudden changes, one of Malta's largest taxi companies, eCabs, modified their taxis and procedures in order to protect staff and customers.

Content of measure

In May 2020, the Public Health Authorities issued guidelines for the taxi industry. eCabs, a leading private taxi operator in Malta, announced that they had both implemented and exceeded these guidelines.

Amongst the changes implemented:

  • Mandatory masks to be worn by both the driver and passengers
  • The selling of disposable masks within the vehicle
  • Perspex screens installed between the driver and passenger
  • Encouraging digital payments (via an App) to reduce handling of cash
  • Ventilation policy: air recycler to be switched off at all times and windows to be left ajar
  • Daily in-vehicle sanitation and air-conditioning filters treated with viral disinfectant
  • Drivers equipped with disinfectant spray and wipes

The taxi company also provides a service for school children. Schools recommenced following COVID-19-related closures and summer holidays in September 2020. This service also includes the following additional steps:

  • Reduced number of children being transported in each van - resulting in both distancing and shorter trips
  • Ensuring children wear their masks throughout their trip
  • Provision of hand sanitiser onboard.

Use of measure

The measure is being applied to all of the organisation's fleet.

Contents

  • Health and safety

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Sector specific set of companies
Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

No involvement - this is a company initiative. Whilst a company initiative, it was also informed by public health guidelines.

Views and reactions

None to report

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      H - Transportation And Storage H49 Land transport and transport via pipelines
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Drivers and mobile plant operators

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Taxi company adapts to COVID-19, measure MT-2020-23/1436 (measures in Malta), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/MT-2020-23_1436.html

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