In order to combat the spread of coronavirus as people begin to return to work, Uber has announced that it will require all drivers and riders to wear masks beginning Monday, May 18.
The company also disclosed that it will be providing $50 million for drivers to purchase supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant, to use in their cars and provide to riders.
Uber’s Chief Executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, said in a virtual press conference:
Everyone must take proper precautions not only to protect yourself, but also the driver and the next person getting in the car after.
It’s about protecting not only yourself but everyone around you.
According to Uber’s senior Director of Product Management, Sachin Kansal, drivers in most parts of the world, starting from Monday, will be required to prove they are wearing a mask by uploading a photo through the app before logging on.
Self-certification is good but sometimes verification is really important.
It’s one thing for us to issue guidelines and requirements but sometimes we have to enforce those requirements.
They’ll also be required to self-certify other measures like not driving if they are sick, have sanitized their vehicle today, and plan to wash their hands regularly similar to those announced by Lyft this month.
The new policies are designed to be flexible so that they can be implemented as needed depending on location and the current severity of the coronavirus outbreak.
If a rider refuses to wear a mask, drivers are allowed to cancel the trip and report the rider for not complying. As always, riders and drivers can add comments when they rate their fellow Uber user if, for instance, a rider removed their mask in the middle of the trip.
If we notice that riders are repeat violators, we can take further action and take them off the platform.
Meanwhile, Uber Eats will also see some changes such as reminders to maintain space inside restaurants, and couriers can report businesses that are not providing space or hand sanitizer.
By no means are we encouraging people to go out of their homes.
But when they do, we want to be ready for them.