A TAXI driver who should have been self-isolating but instead went to work less than two days after returning from Pakistan has had his licence revoked.

The driver, who lives in Bolton, completed 12 taxi rides in less than six hours, then lied to a licensing officer who challenged him, saying he had not been working.

The driver, a father-of-five, who operated in the Bury area, was told he had ‘put the public at risk’ by working so soon after flying back into the country.

He was later contacted by police at his Bolton home and issued with a fixed penalty notice for breaking coronavirus regulations.

Bury Council’s licensing and safety panel heard that on October 16, 2020, a compliant was made to the deputy licensing officer that the driver had returned from Pakistan on October 13 and had returned to work as a private hire driver when he should be self-isolating for 14 days due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

A report to the panel, said: “The officer phoned and asked him whether he was working, he replied ‘no’.

“She asked if he was aware that he should be self-isolating for 14 days, he replied that he was aware.

“The officer then contacted this client’s operator, who confirmed that the driver had worked on October 15 and provided booking records to show that he completed 12 jobs between 5pm and 10.30pm.

“She called again and asked him why he had just lied when asked whether he had been working.

“He replied that he had a negative test so he could go back to work.

“The officer advised him that a negative test made no difference to the fact that he must be self-isolating and that as well as obstructing an officer he had also put members of the public at risk.”

After a report was made to the police an officer from GMP Bolton’s Covid unit informed the driver that he would be served with a fixed penalty.

The driver stated at the licensing meeting that it was a misunderstanding on his part when he had told the licensing officer that he was not working as he had thought she had meant at that point in time therefore he had answered no.

He also explained that he was a father to five children, one of which was disabled and his children and wife relied on him to provide for them and pay the mortgage.

The driver stated that he had checked when he was in Pakistan and had been told that he would need a test which he had done and this had come back negative.

He said he wasn’t aware that he also had to self-isolate upon his return.

The panel suspended the taxi driver, who is not named in public documents, for a period of six months with immediate effect.

The panel found that he ‘was not a fit and proper person to hold a licence in Bury’ and that he ‘did not realise the seriousness of the public health implications relating to him returning to work straight after his return from


Mohammad Sajjad is secretary of Bury private hire drivers’ association.

He said: “We were made aware of this case by the police and licensing.

“The driver was operating in Bury but came from Bolton.

“As soon as we got this information we shared it with our members and reminded them of the need to know the rules and stick to the guidelines.”