The virus pandemic proved the importance of delivery drivers’ roles

By @HaBahrami

The coronavirus pandemic has imposed a nationwide lockdown and restrictions in order to mitigate risks and help the NHS to cope with difficulties.

People have been advised to stay at home and avoid unnecessary contacts or outgoing. This includes shopping (apart from the essential weekly supermarket shop) and eating out in restaurants.

Since the implementation of the lockdown, the number of delivery drivers have increased as some people who lost their job started to work for delivery Apps such as Deliveroo, Ubereats and JustEat.

If you go for a walk between 5 pm and 10 pm, it is not difficult to see many delivery drivers who are taking risks by providing a service that previously was not viewed as vital as it is now.

Unfortunately, most people do not fathom the fact that drivers can easily be infected as they enter many different places.

Erfan has worked for Deliveroo for two years. He says that his rate of pay that he receives for each delivery has remained the same even though the drivers are trying to protect themselves by purchasing gloves, masks and hand-gel.

“It is too risky to enter large buildings and use elevators because who knows whether the virus is there”, Erfan said adding drivers ask customers to come out but the most of them refuse to do so.

However, Deliveroo’s drivers can apply for a payment of up to £20 to cover the purchase of hygiene products like hand sanitiser or face masks. The Deliveroo says that it asked restaurants and other partners to provide riders with access to soap and water or hand sanitising gel at their property whenever possible.

This is while Erfan says that most restaurants do not even allow drivers to use the toilet while they play the most important role in the process of production to consumption.

Initiatives such as contact-free deliveries have been implemented by many outlets to reduce the risk of drivers catching the virus from customers and vice-versa. For example, the driver will ring the doorbell and leave the food on the customer’s doorstep then leave once they see the customer pick up the delivery. Payment has been made electronically again reducing the risk by transferring money over.

Amid all restrictions, drivers are enjoying some positives such as the reduced price of petrol and the reduction in traffic on the roads.

“Despite all advantages that drivers get these days but it is not comparable with risks that we are facing”, Erfan added.

“Now people understand how important our role is and we just expect to be respected”.

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