If you’re planning to hail an Uber anytime soon, you’d better make sure you’ve got a face mask ready. Starting on May 18, Uber is rolling out new requirements for drivers and riders prompted by the coronavirus crisis. The changes are intended to reassure passengers that riding with Uber is safe, and conversely, to assure drivers that they aren’t taking a health risk by continuing to pick up passengers.
The changes include a limitation on the number of passengers in vehicles, face mask requirements for drivers (with a mobile verification feature that involves the driver taking a selfie), and a user checklist that will ask both passengers and drivers to confirm certain health precautions — like mask-wearing — before entering the vehicle.
Sachin Kansal, senior director of product management at Uber, said during a webinar, “This is not a problem that can only be solved by the drivers or only can be solved by the riders, it is everyone’s responsibility. These feedback loops between all the parties are extremely important for us to maintain safety.”
The new measures rely heavily on user policing. That means riders and drivers will be responsible for holding each other accountable. If drivers aren’t wearing a mask, passengers will have the ability to report them via the app — and vice versa. The same is true of Uber Eats delivery drivers interacting with restaurant employees.
The policies are expected to remain in place for several months and are subject to change as the global health situation evolves.