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May 14, 2020

Uber adopts COVID-19 prevention policy for riders, drivers

Transportation Uber
Uber cleanliness coronavirus PA Images/Sipa USA

Uber is requiring drivers and riders to wear face masks and take other precautionary measures aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Uber is rolling out a new feature requiring both drivers and riders to confirm they have taken certain safety precautions before their trip can begin.

The ride share company is implementing the changes as parts of the country, including Pennsylvania, begin to ease their out of weeks-long lockdowns. 

The new rules, which require masks and hand-sanitizing, take effect Monday. They will remain in effect at least through the end of June. 

Drivers will have to confirm that their vehicle has been sanitized before the app will assign any riders. They also will be prompted to take a selfie proving they are wearing a face mask. Once verified, riders will be alerted that their driver is following safety protocols. 

Riders must confirm they are wearing masks and have washed or sanitized their hands. They also must agree to open the windows to allow for ventilation and sit in the backseat of the car.

Additionally, UberX rides will be limited to three passengers. The Uber Pool option has been suspended. 

Uber is encouraging users to cancel trips if they don't feel safe.

Drivers and riders will be able to cancel without penalty if someone is the other party is not wearing a face mask. Riders will be able to indicate whether their driver wore a mask when rating their experience. Uber will notify any drivers of the mask requirements if they do not comply. 

Uber has invested $50 million to purchase supplies for drivers, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfectant sprays and wipes. The items are being shipped directly to the drivers' homes. 

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