EHS Vehicle Use Guidelines

Updated: September 20, 2022

Transportation safety is a key element in preventing transmission of COVID-19. As such, the university has created this guidance related to vehicle transportation while working on campus, and to/from any off-campus events, and educational sites. 

Faculty, staff or students planning on or off campus gatherings must also follow Yale’s Events, Gatherings, and Meetings Guidance.

The general principles in this guidance apply to all use of vehicles.

  • Do not travel if you are feeling unwell or if you exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19.

Unvaccinated passengers must maintain as much distance as possible from other passengers. Unvaccinated passengers should consider driving solo or sitting alone in the back seat of the vehicle.

Requirement for all vehicles:

  • Hand sanitizer must be available for use when entering the vehicle. Hand sanitizer should be used after touching public surfaces such as gas pumps, parking meters, and pay stations and when entering and exiting buildings.
  • If the vehicle is shared with others or there are multiple occupants, frequent touchpoints within the vehicle should be disinfected with wipes before and after each trip (e.g., the steering wheel, gear shift, door frame/handles, windows, radio/temperature dials, and seatbelt buckles).

Requirements for all vehicles involving at least one unvaccinated occupant:

  • Distancing in the vehicle should be maximized where possible by alternating passenger side seating and driver side seating by row.
  • For vehicles with a single row of seats, each person should be seated by a window as far apart as possible.
  • Food and drinks should not be consumed during the trip.
  • All windows should remain open a minimum of three inches to allow for air flow throughout the vehicle. Use of air conditioning is not as effective at reducing transmission as open windows. When using the vehicle air conditioner, avoid use of the re-circulating feature. Vents should be pointed down in the vehicle.
  • Minimize conversations and speak softly when talking. Speaking loudly and frequently increases the probability of transmission.

Drivers must have a clean motor vehicle record and Yale driver safety awareness training is recommended. Personal automobile insurance will be the insurance that responds first in the event of an accident. 

Zipcar use is allowed, but it is the responsibility of the users to wipe down the inside of the car prior to use. Follow requirements outlined above.

Rental vehicles are allowed, subject to restrictions in the University’s Fleet Policy. Follow requirements outlined above.

Use of 12-15 passenger vans continues to be prohibited, as per the University’s Fleet Policy.  

Masking is recommended when using rideshare services (Uber, Lyft, etc.)

Employees using public transportation should follow all posted masking requirements. While no longer required by federal law, masking in transit hubs, both indoors and outdoors, is a best practice. Try to distance as much as possible. Seek less crowded waiting areas.

If you have other questions related to Yale’s travel policy and best practices for safety, please review Yale’s Travel Policy as well as CDC safety advice.

If you have any questions regarding vehicle use, please contact Environmental Health and Safety at