Taxi drivers say they are angry that they have still not been given clear guidance on protective screens from the Department of Infrastructure (DfI) four months on from the start of the pandemic.
Gerry Maxwell from the Belfast Public Hire Taxi Association said the industry remains in "severe crisis" - a situation which is being compounded by a lack of support and clarity from the Executive.
On Wednesday some taxi drivers claimed they had received a letter asking them to remove screens that may not comply with government standards.
However, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon denied her department had made the request.
A Driver and Vehicle (DVA) letter sent to taxi drivers due to have their vehicles tested - seen by the Belfast Telegraph - states: "Taxi drivers may choose to remove the screen prior to the test."
The information is included under a guidance section for taxi drivers and bus drivers who have a screen or partition fitted in response to the pandemic.
It also states that if a screen or partition has been fitted it must meet stipulated regulations, or documentary evidence must be produced to show it meets regulations.
Ms Mallon, speaking on Wednesday's Radio Ulster Nolan Show, said the DVA has offered advice to those who want to fit screens.
She said the DVA wanted to ensure the screens fitted did not interfere with driving positions or seat belts.
"We're not saying take your screens out," she said.
"What we're saying is can you just bring along your document just to show who fitted it and it will be checked for safety," she said.
Mr Maxwell said the department's lack of "clarity" on the issue has further confused drivers, who in the absence of "definitive" departmental guidelines throughout the lockdown, were forced to fit screens at their own expense.
"I'm totally disgusted," he told the Belfast Telegraph. "Those screens have cost between £60 and £200. Some drivers went to Dublin to get them fitted.
"They made that choice because there was no guidance, no help from any department within the Executive to tell us different.
"We have 8,576 taxi drivers in Northern Ireland. For 133 days we've asked for guidance and we've had nothing. Nichola Mallon has not engaged with us."
He stressed the mood among the drivers continues to be one of "panic".
"Remember 95% of our business is gone, it's finished. We still don't have workers back in the city centre. So we're not getting a wage, we're trying to survive," added Mr Maxwell.
He said that the efforts of taxi drivers who worked during the pandemic had been forgotten by the Executive.
"We were taking people who were being tested for Covid up to the test centres. It was taxi drivers who were taking the NHS staff to work," insisted Mr Maxwell.
"There's no thought for us. The PPE that Translink are using is funded by the department. My PPE, my masks, my gloves, my cleaning equipment - I have to pay that. Nobody's funding the taxi drivers.
"There's drivers who needed to work because they have mortgages and car payments.
"We've had at least 20 drivers who have had their vehicles repossessed."
The taxi driver said Stormont needs to step in and provide financial help to drivers.
"We need a hardship fund, we need financial help. We need guidance. The DfI and DfE (Department for the Economy) are kicking us back and forward to each other and nobody will make a decision to help us," he said.
Sinn Fein MLA Cathal Boylan also accused both departments of "passing the buck" in relation to the taxi industry.
"Those in the transport sector, such as taxi drivers, have been hit hard during the Covid-19 pandemic," said Mr Boylan.
"Throughout the pandemic, many in the transport sector were on the front line, leaving health service staff and carers to work.
"They also delivered meals, gas or electricity top-ups and heating oil to the vulnerable."
The party's infrastructure spokesperson also said taxi workers had heard "many platitudes" from the Executive, but what they need is "action".
"The Infrastructure Minister has the responsibility for the transport sector and she needs to start showing leadership on this vital issue by ensuring clear guidance and practical support is provided.
"It's well past time the taxi industry got the support they need and deserve during this challenging period," he added.
The DfI and DfE did not respond to a request for comment by the time of going to press.
THE Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon faced questions from frustrated Taxi drivers at a protest in Stormont today, with many calling for more guidance and financial support to navigate lockdown.