March 8, 2021

“No Mask, No Ride”- Uber’s New Mask Verification Feature

No mask? No ride. It’s as simple as that. Uber is doing everything they can to keep their ridesharing app alive while still following CDC guidelines to keep its users safe from COVID-19. With the simplicity of this policy and many other rules and regulations put in place by the government, it can be hard to believe that customers are not abiding by this. In turn, on September 24, 2020, Uber expanded its policy and introduced new features to ensure the safety of all its drivers, food delivery people, and riders themselves.

The Importance of Wearing a Mask

According to CDC guidelines, it is imperative that people over the age of two years old wear a mask in any public setting or when you are around people not living in your household, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Known as source control, masks act as a simple barrier between you and another individual, preventing any respiratory droplets from entering the air or other people through actions such as sneezing, coughing, and even talking.

When properly worn over the nose and mouth, emerging evidence has confirmed that masks can in fact reduce the spread of this horrible disease. Additionally, everybody should be wearing masks in public settings as some may not even show symptoms or know that they are infected. With this information in mind, Uber has had to expand and modify its policies to account for customers not following mask protocol in their vehicles.

“When we say ‘No Mask. No Ride’ we mean it”. 

Uber has had to make some harsh decisions and strict modifications as thousands of users were not following their simple policy. Announced back in May, this simple feature prompted riders to ensure that they are wearing a mask before entering the vehicle. However, research was gathered an astonishing number of drivers were reporting individuals not wearing masks in their cars.

Uber released its new, stricter, features on September 24, 2020, in a blog post titled “When we say ‘No Mask. No Ride’ we mean it”, and opened with the following statement:

“Accountability is a 2-way street. Since the beginning of this pandemic, while we’ve focused on building technology and implementing policies that highlight shared accountability and mutual respect, you’ve been doing so much to help keep your communities safe. Thank you”. 

As a result, Uber was forced to ban over 1,250 riders from their rideshare application as well as introduce its new mask verification features. Now, not only can Uber drivers report you for not following their simple policies, but they can also refuse to give you a ride.

Image linked to Uber’s promotional campaign video posted on August 14, 2020.

 But First, Let Me Take a Selfie

Yes, you read that right. The popular line from the hit song #SELFIE back in 2014 is basically the new anthem for Uber’s new mask verification policies. Earlier this year, innovative technology was created through Uber to ensure drivers were following the mask regulations when working. They simply needed to take a selfie in their mask, showing Uber that they are being safe when driving and delivering food to customers. Furthermore, the technology is programmed to identify the mask in the picture in one easy selfie.

Due to the drastic number of riders not compiling with their policies, Uber has now extended this to its riders. If a driver reports an individual not wearing a mask in their vehicle, then the rider will be required to take a selfie confirming that they are in fact wearing a mask before taking another trip using the application.

Wash, Wear, Air

As people begin to start heading back to work and school, Uber also introduced their newest educational campaign to encourage riders to stay safe when heading back out into the world. Partnered with the US CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO), they’ve compiled three easy steps to recall and display on every trip taken through Uber. They are as followed:

Wash: Wash or sanitize your hands before entering your vehicle.

Wear: Wear a mask and/or face cover.

Air: Sit in the back seat and keep your window open to ensure proper airflow.

It is as simple as that! We are hoping that Uber’s stricter measures will encourage each and every individual to follow their protocol methods during these difficult and challenging times. They are truly handling it very well as their “No Mask. No Ride” and “Wash, Wear, Air” polices seem to be a great start as we begin to leave our houses and enter back into work and school mode.