Uber updates rider safety measure for the COVID-19 pandemic

Here’s your Uber ride will change, starting May 18

Uber will now require customers to wear masks or a face covering before getting into their cabs that they operate.

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.

The company said it is also looking at adding a selfie verification system to ensure passengers are wearing masks, too.

Uber said it was committing an additional United States dollars 50 million to buy masks and sanitising supplies and would update its app with a safety checklist and other tools for both riders and drivers. Khosrowshahi noted on the call that Uber has allocated $50 million for masks and sanitation products for its drivers.

It has adjusted its practices within all its operations sites including fulfilment centres (warehouses), sortation centres and delivery stations through new formats of communications, process changes, new training methods and several policy changes, it said in a statement.

Uber has also said that it will no longer let passengers sit in the front seats and will reduce the number of passengers per vehicle to three.

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Kansal said that drivers who repeatedly violate the requirements will be taken off the platform.

If a driver or passenger removes their mask during the ride, Uber asks that the other give them less than five stars, and has added lack of face mask as an option when the app asks why they did not receive a ideal rating.

The company will impose the new rules from the coming Monday, and drivers working in most of the countries around the world will have to wear face masks.

Kansal stated that Uber has designed the new policies in a flexible way so that the company will be able to implement them as needed based on the region and severity of the outbreak of the virus.

"We are adding new options for feedback, including if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask or face covering", the release said. Uber has acquired more than 20 million face masks and has distributed about 5 million to date. Plus, both the driver and rider can cancel a ride without incurring a penalty if either one of them is not wearing a mask. At this location, an Uber volunteer will meet them and hand over PPE supplies to drivers after scanning the QR code. "This is not just a driver's responsibility, not just a rider's responsibility, not just the delivery partner's responsibility".

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