Uber driver, London

UK Airports During COVID-19: What Uber Drivers Need To Know

Airports like Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Stansted are usually ideal places for Uber drivers to pick up passengers and get tips. But as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we look at whether it might be worth waiting elsewhere.

Can passengers fly to and from these airports?

Yes. The rules are currently different depending on where you live but generally, the UK is quite locked down and there are a lot of restrictions in place. In the vast majority of airports across the UK, passenger numbers were considerably down from August to September and with further lockdowns now in place, that trend will likely only continue.

However, there are still certain reasons people are permitted to travel abroad and with public transport being widely advised against, a taxi to and from the airport is likely to remain a good option for travellers. 

What are the rules where I work?

ENGLAND

The lockdown beginning from the 5th November and set to end 2nd December prohibits most reasons for travel, both overseas and within the UK. However, passengers may still travel abroad if legally permitted, for example, for the following reasons:

  • People who are currently abroad should travel home as soon as it’s practical to do so
  • People travelling for work reasons 

SCOTLAND

International travel is allowed, as long as passengers are abiding by the 14-day quarantine rules upon arriving from the countries where it applies. Scottish residents are asked to avoid travelling within the UK (between England, Wales, or Northern Ireland) unless absolutely necessary. 

WALES

The firebreak is currently set to stay in place in Wales until 9th November. Until then, residents cannot travel abroad unless they have a “reasonable excuse”. Since the firebreak began on 23rd October, residents were able to return home as soon as they were able to do so, so we suspect they’ve made their journeys.

Airport drop-offs and pick-ups 

There have been some changes to terminals.

  • The biggest change is at Gatwick – the private hire waiting area has moved to the Long Stay car park in Zone Ame changes to terminals (see the map below for more info)
  • At Gatwick, all flights are currently operating from the North Terminal.
  • At Heathrow, all flights are operating from Terminals 2 and 5.
  • At Manchester airport, there is no overnight access to the terminal building, and non-flying members of the public aren’t allowed inside the airport unless they are escorting a passenger.

New LGW waiting area

However, when it comes to taxi drivers picking up or dropping off passengers, nothing else major has changed at these key airports.

Fees for drop-offs and pick-ups

  • Birmingham: free drop off, £5.70 pick up
  • Gatwick: free drop off (set to change to £5 in 2021), £4 pick up
  • Luton: £4 for both drop off and pick up
  • Manchester: £5 drop off, £6 pick up
  • Stansted: £7 drop off, £10 pick up (orange zone)

Entering the airports

Airports are also asking anyone entering to do the following things:

  • Wear a face covering while travelling through any part of the airport
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Keep your hands clean on the go by using hand sanitiser
  • Make contactless payments where possible

And of course, if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 you must stay at home.

This information is correct at the time of writing on 5th November but before you go, make sure to check the latest from official sources.

With the current restrictions in place, we would expect airport trips to be less frequent than they might’ve been recently so it’s important to have a backup plan. Our research tells us that many drivers will be picking up passengers more frequently in residential areas, along with hospitals and shops. These shorter trips may not earn you as much but will help to keep you on the road at this time.

Wherever you go to pick up passengers, remember that both you and your rider will need to wear a face-covering. Read more about face coverings here

Many drivers also tell us they aren’t feeling ready to go back to work as a rideshare driver at all just yet because of health and safety concerns. If that’s you, delivery work could be a good option. Click here to find out more and remember, with INSHUR you are automatically covered to do delivery work at no added cost.

 

Sources:

https://www.caa.co.uk/Data-and-analysis/UK-aviation-market/Airports/Datasets/UK-Airport-data/Airport-data-2020-07/

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#national-restrictions-from-5-november

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-travel-and-transport/

https://gov.wales/coronavirus-firebreak-frequently-asked-questions#section-53263

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/gatwick-airport-passenger-drop-fee-b808162.html