Uber drivers will have to provide selfies to verify the use of face coverings before passengers enter the vehicle before each journey.
The new checklist measures will be brought in by the ride-hailing firm asking drivers from around the world whether they have taken safety measures and are wearing a mask or face cover. Drivers and passengers in the UK are however reportedly exempt from their new face covering policy.
Uber say the new technology will verify if the driver is wearing a covering by asking them to take a selfie. After the firm verifies the driver is covering their face, they then let the rider know via an in-app message.
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 18 May. Uber have said they will maintain this policy through to the end of June, and then reassess based on local public health needs.
New safety measures are not just the responsibility of drivers. Uber have introduced a similar checklist for riders. Before every trip, riders must confirm that they’ve taken precautions like wearing a face cover and washing or sanitising their hands. They must also agree to sit in the back seat and open windows for ventilation. The ride-hailing firm have also reduced the maximum suggested number of passengers for an UberX ride to 3 (from 4).
Drivers and passengers will be able to cancel rides without penalty if either party doesn’t feel safe, including if the rider isn’t wearing a face cover.
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, said: “For more than two months, Uber has been urging riders to stay home, for their safety and the safety of drivers who continue to make essential trips.
“Now, as cities begin to reopen and people start moving again, Uber is proceeding with caution and safety top of mind. We will all have a role to play to help each other stay healthy when travelling.
“It’s important to us that you know what to expect when you take that “second first trip.” Over the last two months, our tech and safety teams have been hard at work building a new product experience that will help protect everyone, every time they use Uber.“