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For-Hire Industry Notice Regarding Essential Services During Stay-At-Home Orders

Thursday, April 2, 2020

This notice is to provide clarification about for-hire drivers, and taxi and transportation network company (TNC) services, given stay-at-home orders issued by Mayor Bowser, and the governors of Maryland and Virginia.

DFHV wants to clarify that the District of Columbia, the State of Maryland, and the State of Virginia deem for-hire drivers as essential workforce. This means that taxi and transportation network company (TNC) drivers are able to work despite the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia stay-at-home guidance and orders.  Specifically, Mayor’s Order 2020-053, issued on March 24, 2020, states that “Taxis, ride-sharing companies, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Businesses or Essential Governmental Functions and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;” are essential services.

Additionally, Mayor Bowser’s Stay-at-Home Order advises for-hire drivers to wipe down surfaces potentially touched by a passenger after each ride. Drivers of ride-sharing vehicles may not have more than two (2) other persons in their vehicle at any time. 

Drivers should follow prevention guidelines, “How to Protect Yourself,” issued at coronavirus.dc.gov, including washing their hands often; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and staying home when feeling sick.

See the District of Columbia’s Stay-at-Home order: coronavirus.dc.gov/release/mayor-bowser-issues-stay-home-order.

See Maryland’s Stay-at-Home order: governor.maryland.gov/Gatherings-FOURTH-AMENDED.   

See Virginia’s Stay-at-Home order: governor.virginia.gov/EO-53-Temporary-Restrictions-Due-To-Novel-Coronavirus-(COVID-19)   

For additional resources and updates on the District’s response to coronavirus (COVID-9), please visit coronavirus.dc.gov.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Q. The Mayor’s Order provides that “Drivers of ride-sharing vehicles may not have more than two (2) other persons in their vehicle at any time.” Can members of the same household ride together in a for-hire vehicle?

A: Yes, a family or members of the same household living together can ride together in a ride-share vehicle even if there are more than two people. Additionally, it may be possible for a couple not living together to share a ride or have those two individuals include a caregiver or a nanny.

Q. Does the Mayor’s Stay at Home Order define taxi and ridesharing drivers as “essential”?

A: Yes. Mayor’s Order 2020-053, issued on March 24, 2020, states that “Taxis, ride-sharing companies, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Businesses or Essential Governmental Functions and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;” are essential services.

Q. Does the Mayor’s Order require drivers and riders to wear a mask?

A. Yes. Mayor’s Order 2020-063, issued on April 15, 2020 states that “the following individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering: employees, customers, and visitors of hotels, retail food sellers, taxis, ride-sharing companies, or other private transportation providers.”