On Wednesday, Uber announced several new safety measures that are scheduled to take place starting next week.
“As cities begin to reopen and people start moving again, Uber is proceeding with caution and safety top of mind,” reads a statement from the company. “We will all have a role to play to help each other stay healthy when traveling.
First and foremost, drivers will be required to wear a mask or face cover. As of Monday, May 18, drivers in the US who are not wearing a mask or face cover will not be allowed to accept passengers or deliveries. This also applies to Canada, India, and most of Europe and Latin America.
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Uber explains that they’re rolling out a “Go Online Checklist” which will ensure that drivers take necessary safety precautions. Drivers will be required to take a selfie to verify that their face is covered; Uber will then alert the rider through an in-app message.
If the driver arrives for pickup without a mask on, the rider will be allowed to cancel the trip without penalty. New options are being added for feedback, including arriving without a face cover or mask.
“We will maintain this policy through the end of June, and then reassess based on local public health needs,” said the company.
Health precautions are also being implemented for riders. They too will be required to wear a face mask or covering and must wash or sanitize their hands before entering a vehicle. In addition, they must agree to sit in the back seat and open windows for ventilation.
Uber notes that they’ve allocated $50 million to purchase masks, disinfectant sprays and wipes, hand sanitizer, and gloves. At the time of writing, the company says they’ve procured over 23 million masks for their drivers.