Uber drivers, riders required to wear masks amid COVID-19 starting Monday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —Taking an Uber will look a little bit different starting Monday as the rideshare company implements significant changes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Uber is calling it "your second first ride" and drivers and riders are now required to wear face masks or face coverings.

“Of course these days a different kind of safety is top of mind it’s about hygiene, health, and face coverings," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a YouTube video. "It’s about protecting not only yourself, but everyone around you”

Uber provided a list of the biggest changes starting Monday, May 18:

  • Go Online Checklists: Riders and drivers will have to confirm that they have taken certain steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The specific steps are covered in the blog.
  • Mask Verification: Before drivers can start accepting trips, they will be required to take a selfie with a mask on. Our new technology will verify that the driver is wearing a mask or face covering and let the rider know when the driver is en route.
  • Accountability for all: We are adding new options for feedback, including if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask or face cover. Drivers and riders are being encouraged to cancel trips if they don’t feel safe, including if a user is not wearing a mask or face cover. In addition, riders, drivers, and delivery people who repeatedly violate the policy risk losing access to the app.
  • New Limits for UberX and UberXL: To allow for more distance in the car, we are advising riders to no longer sit in the front seat. This means every ride with Uber will have one less passenger seat available. For example, rides with UberX can have a maximum of 3 passengers and only in the back seats.
  • Rideshare Health Safety Education: Working with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), we have compiled safety tips and recommendations specifically geared toward ridesharing and food delivery. These tips will be used to educate riders and drivers globally. See a video here.