SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Starting Monday, May 18, Uber drivers and passengers in the U.S. will be required to wear face masks through at least the end of June.
The requirement is part of a new set of safety guidelines the company announced Wednesday as cities begin to reopen after being shut down because of the pandemic.
Uber says its drivers will need to use a new “Go Online Checklist” to verify they’re wearing a mask and taking other safety measures before they begin picking up riders. Drivers will verify if they’re wearing a mask by taking a selfie.
We're using technology to confirm your driver has a face cover or mask before they go online to help keep our community safe. pic.twitter.com/E9er2u9KAl
— Uber (@Uber) May 13, 2020
“After we verify the driver is covering their face, we’ll let the rider know via an in-app message,” wrote Uber.
Uber has also built a similar checklist for riders. Before every trip, riders will need to confirm they’ve taken precautions, like wearing a face cover or washed their hands. They must also agree to sit in the back seat and open windows for ventilation.
The company says it’s also reducing the maximum suggested number of passengers for an UberX ride from four to three.
Uber says both drivers and riders can cancel trips without penalty if they don’t feel safe, including if the other driver or rider isn’t wearing a face cover. The issue can be reported on the app.
Additionally, Uber says it has allocated $50 million to purchase supplies like masks, disinfectant sprays and wipes, hand sanitizer, and gloves for its riders, drivers and delivery people. Supplies are often shipped directly to driver’s homes.