The Shocking Reason Your Uber Ride Could Be Canceled Amid Coronavirus
Not taking certain preventative measures against COVID-19 could result in you losing your ride.
The coronavirus has altered many of the practices we've become accustomed to in everyday life. After all, just months ago, there were no stickers on the floor of the grocery store telling us where to stand and walk. But shopping trips aren't the only thing that has fundamentally changed because of the pandemic. Ride shares, which have become hugely popular in the last several years, have also updated their policies. In order to keep both you and your driver safe, Uber is now requiring both parties to wear face masks during the ride. And if you don't comply, your Uber ride could be canceled.
"First and foremost, everyone on our platform will be required to wear masks or face covers when using Uber. Whether you are a rider, driver, or delivery person—everyone must share in the responsibility of helping stop the spread of COVID-19," the company said on their website in a May 13 statement.
The company isn't mandating the type of face covering you need to wear while in the vehicle, however. They just require that your face cover or mask covers "your face from the bridge of your nose down to your chin." And if you aren't complying, your driver can cancel the trip and report it to Uber's support team. The driver will select "no face cover or mask" as their cancellation reason, which means that the ride will not count toward the driver's cancellation rate and won't factor in when determining their eligibility for Uber Pro (a rewards program for Uber drivers). Drivers are more likely to use the option, as they won't be penalized by the company.
"Uber will take action based on drivers' feedback, and riders who are reported repeatedly for not complying with this policy may risk losing access to the platform," the statement continues.
This new requirement goes both ways.
"Before a driver or delivery person can go online, they will be asked to confirm, via a new Go Online Checklist, that they've taken certain safety measures and are wearing a mask or face cover," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi noted in his "Your Second First Trip" statement, also on May 13. "Our new technology will verify if the driver is wearing a mask by asking them to take a selfie. After we verify the driver is covering their face, we'll let the rider know via an in-app message."
And since someone could upload the selfie and then take their mask off, riders can also report their driver or delivery person for not wearing one.
Uber drivers determined to not be wearing a face covering will not be allowed to go online and solicit rides until the end of June. After that, the company said, they will reassess the guideline and determine if it needs to be extended.
Other preventative measures drivers have to confirm on the Go Online Checklist include that they have sanitized their vehicle and that they won't allow anyone to ride in their front seat. As a passenger, you have to "agree to sit in the back seat and open windows for ventilation," per Uber, as well as confirm that you have sanitized your hands before you can take your ride. And for more ways to be a better passenger, check out This Is the Worst Thing You Can Do in Someone Else's Car, the CDC Says.