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Uber launches mask verification as part of new safety measures

As governments begin to lift lockdowns, Uber is taking unprecedented safety measures to help everyone who uses its app to stay safe and healthy.
As part of a new in-app safety checklist, before drivers and couriers go online they will be asked to take a selfie to verify they are wearing a mask or face covering using new object recognition technology.

Any driver or courier who is not wearing a mask or other face-covering will not be able to go online.

Drivers will also be asked to confirm they’ve taken additional safety measures such as regularly sanitising their car and making hand sanitizer available for their riders. While riders will be required to take safety precautions like washing their hands before getting in the car, sitting in the backseat and opening windows for ventilation.

New safety measures

These new safety measures came into effect on Monday, 18 May 2020 and will stay in effect until the end of June, when they will be reviewed based on the latest official health guidance.

Uber is also today allocating $50 million globally to help provide drivers and couriers with access to the protective equipment, cleaning and sanitising supplies they need to work more safely on the Uber app.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber, says, “For months we’ve been urging people 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, we’re taking unprecedented measures to help everyone stay safe and healthy, every time they use Uber. This includes working with partners like Unilever to help drivers, couriers and riders access the masks and hygiene kits they need to work and travel more safely.”

Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever, added: “As some countries around the world look to slowly ease out of lockdown, safe transportation will play a crucial role as we move into a new normal. And as people begin to venture out, we must collectively ensure that health and safety remain the absolute priority. We’re pleased that by partnering with Uber, and providing our trusted hygiene products, Unilever is able to help keep drivers, couriers and riders as safe as possible.”

Safety first

Other safety measures announced today include:
  • Safety checklist for couriers: Prior to going online, couriers will be asked to confirm they’ve taken certain safety measures such as wearing a mask or face covering, sanitising their delivery bag, adhering to social distancing measures and following no-contact delivery instructions when dropping off an order.

  • Free cancellations for safety concerns: Drivers can cancel a ride without a penalty if a rider isn’t wearing a mask or face covering. Riders can do the same. These cancellations must be related to safety concerns, Uber’s Community Guidelines prohibit discrimination against anyone based on their race or perceived national origin.

  • New health and hygiene feedback system: We are adding new options for feedback in the Uber app, including if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask. Anyone who is repeatedly flagged for violating our new safety policies risks losing access to Uber’s apps.

  • Safety education materials: Working with the World Health Organization and the latest public health advice, we have compiled safety tips and recommendations specifically geared toward ridesharing and food delivery. This will be used to educate riders, drivers, couriers and restaurants when we learn of unsafe behaviour.

Since the pandemic began, Uber has taken meaningful steps to help keep everyone on the Uber platform safe. This includes providing the latest public health information on the apps, introducing contactless delivery on Uber Eats and providing active drivers and couriers diagnosed with Covid-19 - or those having to self-isolate - with financial assistance from Uber for up to 14 days.

Uber is committed by working with governments and public health bodies to help everyone stay safe when using Uber’s apps.

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