Looking to create a safer riding environment for drivers and passengers, Uber will require all vehicle occupants to wear a face covering.
Starting Monday, increased safety measures will be in place on Uber rides, including the mask requirement aimed at ensuring safety as states begin to reopen from coronavirus-related shutdowns, Sachin Kansal, Uber senior director of product management, announced Wednesday in a virtual news conference.
Drivers will have to go through a safety checklist ahead of getting online for passenger pickups. It will include a visual verification that drivers are wearing a mask. If they aren’t, they won’t be able to move to the next step.
After proving that they are wearing a mask, drivers will then verify they are not ill and have not had any COVID-19 symptoms. Lastly, drivers will have to verify they understand coronavirus cleaning protocols aimed at keeping all occupants safe.
With the new requirement, drivers or riders can cancel a trip if either shows up at the pickup point without a mask on. Additionally, drivers and passengers can rate each other lower afterward if they remove their face covering during the ride.
Removal from the Uber platform is possible for repeat offenders.
The announcement comes a week after Lyft published similar guidelines for its ride-hailing process.
Lyft also requires drivers and riders to go through a safety checklist ahead of driving, noting they are wearing a face covering, they will not drive if they have or think they have the coronavirus, they will keep the vehicle clean and sanitized and they will leave windows open when possible to limit the use of circulated air.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.