Passenger Guidelines for maintaining hygiene for COVID-19


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to Ola passengers as to appropriate measures to take, when riding with an Ola driver, to minimise the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19.

All Ola passengers are responsible for complying with this policy. 

Maintaining the highest standards of health and safety

Both drivers and passengers have a duty to take reasonable steps to care for their own well-being and to avoid harming the health of others. Passengers can do their part to help minimise the spread of infectious viruses when taking ride services.

Ola is committed to doing everything that is reasonably practicable to minimise the risks associated for both Ola drivers and passengers, by requesting passengers to apply the following steps when riding with Ola. 

Before commencing a ride service with Ola, passengers are requested to:-

  1. Conduct a self assessment: to stay home if feeling unwell.
  2. Keep an alcohol-based sanitiser (containing 60% alcohol) with them.
  3. Self-isolate if tested positive for COVID-19, have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or arrived from international travel since 29 March 2020 (specific to Australia) and 9 April 2020 (specific to New Zealand).
  4. Follow instructions as displayed on the Reduce the risk  (AU) or the ‘Protect yourself and others against COVID-19’ (NZ) signage in the driver’s vehicle, for steps passengers can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  5. If concerned about their health, passengers are to consult with their doctor.

Government Guidelines

Ola requests that all passengers and drivers follow the advice of the Australian Government Department of Health’s website or the New Zealand Ministry of Health  – COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) website  as to government imposed restrictions. This is a particular necessity as restrictions are progressively lifted across each jurisdiction within Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to the government guidelines,  Ola drivers are to adhere to the following Health and Safety Policy for COVID-19 as to measures drivers should adopt, to reduce the risks of transmission and exposure.

Latest Australian Government advice

The Australian Government is taking steps to reduce the spread of coronavirus including mandatory 14 day self isolation for visiting or returning travellers, please see: Advice for travellers.

The latest government advice for rideshare drivers is available here

If a  passenger suspects that they may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please call the dedicated Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. Visit WHO’s website for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Please also see the Point to Point Commission – Video – Keeping drivers and passengers safe.

Latest New Zealand Government advice

The New Zealand Government is taking steps to relax restrictions put in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease. For border control information as to mandatory 14 day self isolation for visiting or returning travellers and use of public transport information, please see: COVID-19 – Border controls

If a  passenger suspects that they may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please call the Ministry of Health Information Line on 0800 855 066. Visit WHO’s website for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

Please keep Triple One (111) for emergencies only.

Face mask use

The Australian Government Department of Health’s advice is that there is no need to wear a face mask if the person is well, please see:  Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Use of masks by the public in the community and here.

The New Zealand government’s Ministry of Health advice is similar: COVID-19: Use of face masks in the community.

Physical distancing – Specific to Australia

The nature of ride services means that physical distancing in a vehicle will be challenging as drivers are limited in their ability to maintain recommended social distancing from passengers. There are steps that can be taken by both the drivers and passengers to maximum social distancing to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

All Ola drivers are responsible for ensuring  physical distancing is practiced as much as is possible in their vehicles. 

International passengers

Ola’s expectation is that it’s the duty of drivers and passengers to maintain the health and safety of themselves and for the driver to provide a safe and quality service to Ola’s customers.       

When travelling in from the international airport after arriving from an ‘at-risk’ country, the passenger must follow the Australian Department of Health’s advice and wear a surgical mask, if available. If the passenger refuses to do so, the driver should refuse the ride until the passenger complies.

Returning international passengers are to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid direct contact with the driver: please do not shake the driver’s hand.
  • Handle own luggage: if a passenger has luggage, the driver will open the boot but avoid touching the luggage and request the passenger handle their own luggage.
  • Maintain a distance: sit in the rear passenger seat (specific to Australia).
  • Practice good cough/sneeze hygiene by using a tissue or own elbow.
  • Dispose of used tissues in a safe manner and discard when outside of the vehicle.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Picking up local Passengers

Passengers must always:

  1. Maintain a social distance: practice social distancing – shaking hands is not required and make sure to sanitise hands whenever possible.
  2. Sit in the back of the vehicle (specific to Australia).
  3. If the passenger is showing signs or symptoms of being unwell such as coughing, sniffling or sneezing, the passenger should take all measures to protect the driver and themselves by following the list of precautions referred to above.

Self Isolation

During the COVID-19 global pandemic, Ola passengers may be required to self isolate for a period of 14 days when showing any flu-like symptoms, to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Passengers should immediately self isolate if they are  feeling unwell or are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and awaiting results or have been required by health authorities to self-isolate. 

The Australian Department of Health’s advice has advised passengers who are required to self-isolate to use a personal mode of transport to minimise exposure to others, where possible, please see: Isolation for Covid-19.

Similarly, the New Zealand government Ministry of Health’s advice requires that passengers use their own modes of transport during self isolation, please see: COVID-19: Self-isolation for close contacts and travellers.

If travel is absolutely required during this period and the passenger needs to use a ride service to travel to a location for example, for isolation, the Australian Department of Health’s advice is for passengers to adopt the following precautions:

  • Encouraged to wear a surgical mask, if available.
  • Avoid direct contact with the driver or any other passengers. 
  • Practise good hand hygiene in particular cough/sneeze hygiene practices:
    • frequently wash hands with soap and water, before and after eating and after going to the toilet.
    • Cover mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or cough and /or sneeze into own elbow or upper arm, dispose of tissues after use, and use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol to clean hands afterwards.
    • Maintain 1.5 metre distance from other people if unwell or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.

If a driver forms an opinion that the passenger has not taken the above precautions and cannot provide a safe service, then the driver may choose to refuse or terminate the trip. Group transport of at-risk people, including older people, should be avoided where possible.

Equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws may apply to fare refusal if a driver refuses the trip or cancels a trip based on the passenger’s nationality, disability or cultural background.

If the passenger holds any concerns about the health of the driver, the passenger can report their concerns to the Ola Safety Team via email:

When the passenger shows signs of being unwell

As part of the ride service, both drivers and passengers should cooperate in applying measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

If the passenger is showing signs or symptoms of being unwell, the driver should ask the passenger to sit at the back of the car on the passenger side.

If the driver is very concerned (if say, the passenger tells the driver that they have just arrived from overseas), or the passenger is clearly in breach of the guidelines, the driver must report to the Health Authorities and must lodge a complaint with Ola.

Health Authorities contact details for Australia and New Zealand


For the latest advice, information and resources, please see:

Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If  translating or interpreting services are required please call 131 450. The phone number of the relevant state or territory public health agency is available at

Contact tracing

Contact tracing is the process of identifying people who may have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 via the COVIDSafe-app.  

The process is a key element of the public health response to take measures to help stop the further spread of COVID-19 (such as getting tested or self-isolating).


If the passenger is concerned they may have symptoms (even mild), including fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or loss of sense of smell, they should consult with their general practitioner (GP), the 24-hour coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 or use the Australian Government Department of Health – healthdirect Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker

In some cases, headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may present as symptoms.

Mental health resources

  • Lifeline Australia 13 11 14: A crisis support service offering short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe:
  • Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
  • Mental health information and support:


New Zealand

For the latest advice, information and resources, please see: COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

For COVID-19 health advice and information, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS.

Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health uses Contact tracing for COVID-19 to locate people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.  In addition, the mandatory requirement for small passenger vehicle operators to use log books (recording the details of ride services) and to maintain the details of registered passengers, will assist with this process.


A person exhibiting any of the COVID-19 symptoms should get assessed as recommended, please see: Assessment and testing for COVID-19.

Mental health resources

  • Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time
  • Lifeline 0800 543 354
  • Samaritans 0800 726 666
  • Chinese Lifeline – 0800 888 880 (for people who speak Mandarin or Cantonese).

Further information

If you have any questions or comments regarding anything in this document or if you require further information, you can email us at