Uber has finalized some new rules to keep both its drivers and riders as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic. The changes that take effect on May 18 will see masks being required and more in the US, Canada, parts of Europe, India, and more.
Reported by Engadget, Uber’s changes follow the Lyft who previously did the same and include drivers taking a selfie with the app to confirm they are actually wearing a mask.
Starting on May 18th, Uber will require both drivers and riders to wear face protection before they can start using the service. The company is introducing a new safety checklist feature that will require its contractors in the US, Canada, India and parts of Europe and Latin America to take a selfie to prove they’re wearing a face cover or mask.
Riders will also have a checklist before jumping in an Uber that includes confirming they’ve cleaned their hands and are wearing a mask.
Both groups will be able to cancel a trip without incurring a penalty if someone shows up without proper protection. “Drivers and riders who repeatedly violate mask policies risk losing access to Uber,” the company said.
Uber is planning to suspend the accounts of those who repeatedly break the new checklist rules and says it’s currently going to keep them in place through June but that they could extend past then. As for privacy, Uber highlights that it won’t “process any biometric information” from the required selfies for drivers.
The company is also quick to note the new checklist feature won’t compare the selfie drivers and delivery people take against the company’s existing photo database. It also won’t process any biometric information.
While Uber is continuing to operate, ride requests are down as much as 80% and the company is asking people to stay home whenever possible.
In other parts of the world, like Brazil, the new rules are already in place. Uber has also set aside $50 million to purchase cleaning and safety supplies for its drivers. Read more about all the changes on Uber’s COVID-19 landing page here.
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