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Coronavirus pandemic: Uber makes masks mandatory for riders, drivers

Uber today announced safety features and policy changes that will enable it to navigate the post lockdown route

Sonal Khetarpal        Last Updated: May 19, 2020  | 01:23 IST
Coronavirus pandemic: Uber makes masks mandatory for riders, drivers

As cities reopen and life cautiously goes back to 'normal' with social distancing and safety measures, companies will be adopting new ways to do business.

Uber today announced safety features and policy changes that will enable it to navigate the post lockdown route.

Claustrophobic it may be, masks will be a reality for outdoor spaces. Uber has made it mandatory for drivers and the riders to wear a mask. The driver can deny the rider entry into the cab and the rider will cancel the service if the driver isn't wearing a mask. In fact, before accepting the ride, drivers will send a mask verification selfie which will be verified by Uber's new technology feature. This feature is to instill confidence in the rider about her upcoming commute.

This will be in addition to the post-trip feedback mechanism and a cancellation policy in case the driver or the rider doesn't follow the protocol or removes the mask mid-way.

Uber has also updated its cancellation policy. Drivers and riders can cancel trips if they don't feel safe, including if a user is not wearing a mask or face cover.

There will be new additions in the app, for riders and drivers, to ensure everyone's safety.

There will also be an interactive Go Online Checklist for both riders and drivers on the new hygiene and safety measures to follow while traveling. Before a ride, drivers will be asked to confirm if they are wearing a mask and have taken safety measures. A similar checklist has been built for riders. Before every trip, they must confirm that they've taken precautions such as wearing a face mask and washing or sanitising their hands.

In fact, now a family of four will have to take book two rides. To allow for space between the driver and rider, riders can not to sit in the front seat. Only two riders will be allowed in a car and they'll have to sit in the rear seat.

"Today, as India eases its lockdown, it's important we take all necessary precautions to help keep ourselves safe and to make the next trip safer for all. These new features and policies have been rolled out globally, and we will keep enhancing and revising them as needed to ensure a safer product experience for all," said Sachin Kansal, Global Senior Director of Product Management at Uber.

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