With lockdown now being lifted in the UK and life becoming the "new normal", we are busy at Bright World making plans for our students to fly back to the UK and, where needed, to quarantine on arrival before starting school.
We all know that safety on board planes will be taken very seriously and there will be measures in place to stop the spread of Covid-19, but what about when our students arrive in the UK at the airport? How are they going to get safely back to school, or to their quarantine location?
As part of our six-point plan for a Covid-Safe September, we have been putting plans in place here at Bright World and with our partner transfer companies to ensure that taxi transfers will be as low-risk as possible.
All our partner transfer companies have agreed to uphold our Covid-19 Driver and Passenger Safety Policy so we can reassure parents that Covid-safety as well as road-safety will be our drivers' top priority.
When our students arrive at the airport, things will be slightly different to normal. Students will need to maintain their distance of at least 1 metre from the driver and drivers will be wearing masks, so it will be more important than ever for our students to look for our yellow Bright World name boards. We ask our students to also wear their own masks or face coverings at all times wherever possible, as this helps to protect others around them, as well, including their drivers.
Drivers will still help students with heavy luggage if needed, but students will be asked to leave the airport as quickly as possible, to avoid unnecessary contact with others, and head to the car. Once at the car, both students and drivers should sanitize their hands before entering.
Another point on our policy states that cars will be regularly cleaned during the shifts, with hard surfaces that could harbour the virus being wiped down regularly with anti-bacterial and anti-viral products, so parents and students can be fully satisfied that the car will be as clean as possible.
In order to keep the cars clean and avoid infection risk, we do ask students to avoid eating in the car; if students need to stop for a comfort break or for food or drink this is fine, but we would again ask that these breaks are as short as possible to avoid unnecessary contact with other people. Each time the student and driver leave and re-enter the car they should sanitise their hands again.
Once at school, or their destination, the driver will hand our students over to school staff, who we know will also be taking great care to make sure that precautions are followed and will no doubt remind students to get changed out of their travel clothes and wash their hands thoroughly.
Although we are committed to being safe and careful, we are aware that many of our students are young travelers, so our drivers will still try to make the experience as relaxing as possible for them and help however they can, while maintaining best practice to stop the spread of Covid-19, so we can all return to the "old normal".
If any of our parents, agents, schools or students have any queries or concerns about transfer travel with Bright World during the Covid-19 pandemic, please do not hesitate to contact Jenny Rumble, our Director of Safeguarding and Operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org, who will be happy to help you.
Our Managing Director, Lana Foster, is a Trustee of AEGIS, The Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students. Bright World is pleased to endorse and follow the standards set by AEGIS during the Coronavirus Crisis and while we head towards the healthy and safe return of our students in September. We are proud to have achieved GOLD standard accreditation of this important inspectorate.
Find our more about the programme Bright World is arranging for those students who need to quarantine upon arrival in the UK.
Read our 6 Point Plan for a Covid-19 Safe September and find out what extra measures we are putting in place this academic year.
Please also get in touch with us if you are are a parent who needs assistance with guardianship or quarantine accommodation and you are not yet registered with Bright World.
Listen to Jenny Rumble, Director of Safeguarding & Operations, talking with partner travel company, Alan's Airport Services about how we plan to keep taxi transfers safe for both our students and drivers.