BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — UBER is requiring drivers and riders to wear masks nationwide, starting Monday (May 18, 2020). Enforcement comes by way of mandatory selfies — at least from drivers. Presumably, drivers will only accept riders (in theory) if those riders are wearing facial coverings.
Riders are permitted to cancel rides — with no penalty — if their drivers show up without, or remove, facial coverings.
Here’s UBER’s language being transmitted to drivers:
Before a driver or delivery person can go online, they will be asked to confirm, via a new Go Online Checklist, that they’ve taken certain safety measures and are wearing a mask or face cover.
Our new technology will verify if the driver is wearing a mask by asking them to take a selfie. After we verify the driver is covering their face, we’ll let the rider know via an in-app message. (Unlike our Real-Time ID Check system, this technology detects the mask as an object in the photo, and does not process biometric information or compare mask selfies to driver photos in our database.)
In the United States, Canada, India and most of Europe and Latin America, drivers who are not wearing a mask or face cover will not be able to go online beginning next Monday, May 18. We will maintain this policy through the end of June, and then reassess based on local public health needs. We’ve designed this feature to adapt to changing public health guidance and regulations as the pandemic evolves.
We’ve also built a similar checklist for riders. Before every trip, riders must confirm that they’ve taken precautions like wearing a face cover and washing or sanitizing their hands. They must also agree to sit in the back seat and open windows for ventilation. We’re also reducing the maximum suggested number of passengers for an UberX ride to 3 from 4.
Accountability and Enforcement
Accountability is key—and it goes both ways. That’s why we are encouraging drivers to cancel trips without penalty if they don’t feel safe, including if the rider isn’t wearing a face cover. It’s important to note that Uber’s Community Guidelines prohibit discrimination against anyone based on their race, national origin or gender.
If a driver shows up without a mask on, the rider can cancel the trip without penalty, too, and report the issue to us via the app. Uber’s two-way feedback system has long helped ensure both riders and drivers uphold certain standards by requiring feedback on issues like vehicle quality, navigation, and speeding. Now, we are adding new options for feedback including having no face cover or mask. Drivers and riders who repeatedly violate mask policies risk losing access to Uber.
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