Uber to require drivers, riders to use masks amid virus
Uber will require the use of face mask both for drivers and passengers during the coronavirus outbreak, according to a report.
The decision, yet to be introduced, was approved by the company's executives last week and it is expected to be implemented in the coming weeks, CNN Business reported Sunday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The ridesharing company is also searching for ways to detect compliance through its facial verification capabilities as part of its "Real-Time ID-check" feature to confirm driver identities, according to the anonymous source.
Andrew Hasbun, Uber's head of safety communications, confirmed to CNN Business that the company is working for a new policy.
"As countries reopen, Uber is focused on safety and proceeding with caution," Hasburn said in a statement. "Today, we continue to ask riders to stay home if they can, while shipping safety supplies to drivers who are providing essential trips. At the same time, our teams are preparing for the next phase of recovery, where we will all have a role to play."
"We'll communicate updates directly to users when ready, but in the meantime, we continue to urge all riders and drivers to wear masks or face coverings when using Uber," he added.
Earlier the company urged active drivers in US cities and states to use face coverings as the delivery of supply-limited masks to its employees may take time.
Robyn Gershon, a New York University epidemiology professor, hailed Uber's decision saying that vehicles are the type of close quarters where it is easy for the virus to spread.
The US is the country hardest-hit by the global pandemic with 1.15 million confirmed cases and 67,700 fatalities, according to a running tally of Maryland-based Johns Hopkins University. In all, over 180,100 people have recovered from the epidemic.
Spreading over 185 countries globally, the virus infected more than 3.5 million people and killed over 248,000.