Uber passengers will have to wear face masks from Monday

Uber passengers will be required to wear face masks and travel in groups of less than four from Monday.

The company said everyone using its ride-hailing service in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and most Latin American and Asian countries will be expected to wear some form of face covering.

The fasce masks rule will also apply to the company’s drivers and delivery workers.

The measures have been put in place as many countries begin to ease restrictions aimed at curbing the coronavirus outbreak.

All passengers will be required to sit in the back and the number of passengers allowed on standard Uber rides will be reduced to three from four.

Uber will release updates to its driver and rider app to inform users about the changes, executives said on Wednesday.

Those who repeatedly fail to adhere to the company’s new rules could have their account deactivated.

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Drivers will be required to take a selfie with a mask before starting work each day and verify that they do not exhibit any coronavirus symptoms.

They will also have to confirm that they have sanitised their vehicles and agree to roll down windows during car journeys.

Uber axes 3,700 jobs as pandemic hits ride-hailing numbers

Uber axes 3,700 jobs as pandemic hits ride-hailing numbers

Uber’s senior director of product management Sachin Kansal said the company was also looking at adding selfie verifications for customers.

He added that Uber has acquired more than 20 million face masks and distributed around five million of them to date.

According to Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, the company has allocated more than $50m (£40m) to buy masks and sanitisers for drivers.

Uber and its smaller US rival Lyft have faced criticism from driver advocacy groups for placing the burden on drivers to buy disinfectants and ensure safety.

Last week, Lyft announced it would require drivers and riders to wear face coverings.

When asked whether Uber would provide financial assistance to drivers in need of cleaning supplies Mr Kansal did not give a direct answer, instead saying the company’s thinking was “constantly evolving”.

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He also said that drivers were free to pay to install plastic division sheets in their cars.

Meanwhile, Chinese ride-sharing company Didi is paying to install plastic barriers in cars to protect workers and customers.

Uber announced last week that it has seen a gradual increase in ridership in May from pandemic-induced lows in April.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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