Car sharing is allowed under lockdown as long as you follow these rules

People from different households are once again being told they must to avoid car sharing unless there is absolutely no alternative.

As England and Scotland join Northern Ireland and Wales in imposing strict lockdown meausures,  those who share a car to travel to work are being urged to look for alternatives such as walking or cycling and if this is not possible to follow certain protocols to protect themselves.

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The latest advice from the Department for Transport says: "You must not share the car with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless your journey is undertaken for an exempt reason. For example, if car sharing is reasonably necessary as part of your work."

This is echoed by other authorities around the UK, which all also acknowledge that it may still be necessary for some people to car share with members of other households for essential travel.

In such instances, the advice for staying safe focuses on limiting who you share with, keeping journeys as short as possible and following basic hygiene rules to limit the risk of infection.

Take precautions

In the latest guidance the DfT says that people who usually car share with members of another household should try to find an alternative method of transport - walking, cycling or using their own car - but if this is not possible they can still car share for commuting purposes and other essential journeys but should take precautions to protect themselves from infection.

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Among the key advice, which is mirrored by authorities in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, is to keep car sharing groups small and try to share with the same people each time.

Drivers and passengers should all wear face masks unless they have a medical reason not to and you should keep the car windows open to maintain good ventilation.

Anyone who is car sharing is also advised to sit as far apart as possible from other passengers, avoid any physical contact and to face away from each other while travelling to lessen the risk of transmission.

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If you are sharing a car with other people you should be aware of the surfaces you and others touch, and clean it between journeys using gloves and standard cleaning products. Make sure you clean door handles, steering wheel and other areas that people may touch.

A version of this article first appeared on our sister title the Yorkshire Post