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The COVID-19 crisis has changed our lives and in an effort to decrease the spread of the virus, Uber has announced a new policy that affects everyone that uses the platform.
NEW FACE MASK POLICY
This morning Uber announced that face masks will be required for everyone including riders, drivers and delivery persons.
Uber states that this will be a requirement “in many countries including the US, Canada, Mexico, India, France, and most countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa where we operate, following the guidance of global health experts.”
SO HOW DOES IT WORK?
Before drivers can go online to drive (or deliver), they will be asked to confirm they:
- are wearing a face cover or mask by taking a selfie wearing it
- have sanitized their vehicle (or food delivery equipment) and;
- will not allow anyone to ride in their front seat
Riders will also be asked to confirm:
- they are wearing a face cover or mask
- have washed (or sanitized) their hands and;
- agree to sit in the back seat and open windows for ventilation
In addition to the above steps, the rider will receive a message (while the driver is enroute to the pick up location) confirming the driver has completed the verification for wearing a mask.
“When wearing a face cover or mask, make sure it covers your face from the bridge of your nose down to your chin. Face covers can be made of cloth, should cover the mouth and nose, and be secured to your face” Uber said.
The company also distributed a video to guide you through the process of wearing a mask properly.
WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMEONE ISN’T WEARING A MASK?
Uber also address an issue that I foresee becoming a problem. Unlike the driver, the passenger does not have to upload a selfie so what happens if the passenger verifies they are wearing a mask but doesn’t actually have a mask?
Uber says “If you ever feel unsafe or if a rider is not wearing a face cover or mask, you can cancel the trip and report it to Uber’s support team by selecting ‘No face cover or mask’ as your cancellation reason.”
In this manner, everyone has an accountability to everyone else.
UBER WILL SUPPLY THE MASKS
Uber is allocating $50 million to purchase supplies for drivers and delivery people (e.g. masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, etc.) And as of this week, the company has already secured 23 million masks for staff around the world and will ship the items directly to driver’s homes.
As a person that uses ride-sharing with frequency, I am glad to see these policies being implemented.
I still have a few questions. For example, when a driver uploads a selfie, is it “approved” in real time? What happens if they, say, forgot their face mask at home and instead take a picture of their dashboard? Is there any way to prove they were not wearing a mask?
Additionally, what happens if you’re requesting a car for 4 passengers? Wouldn’t someone have to sit in the front seat?
I know Uber have banned drivers for violating policies that were much less important so I’m not particularly worried about drivers attempting to skirt the rules.
What do you think of the new policy?