Face coverings are now optional and drivers and passengers will decide whether or not they would like to ride without masks
The American ride-share companies Uber and Lyft announced the removal of the mask mandate for drivers and passengers this Tuesday. The decision has been taken after a federal judge ruled against the extension of the mandate enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Right after Biden’s administration recognized the federal judge’s decision, Uber and Lyft joined other US airlines that decided to drop the mask mandate.
According to the official information shared on Uber’s website, face coverings are now optional: “As of April 19, 2022, riders and drivers are not required to wear masks when using Uber.” However, the company also clarified: “The CDC still recommends wearing a mask if you have certain personal risk factors and/or high transmission levels in your area.”
Uber also encourages those who want to wear masks to do it, but also respects the decision of those who don’t. They also reminded drivers and travelers: “If you ever feel uncomfortable, you can always cancel the trip.”
Lyft shared a similar statement according to the information published on CNBC: “We know that everyone has different comfort levels, and anyone who wants to continue wearing a mask is encouraged to do so. As always, drivers or riders can decline to accept or cancel any ride they don’t wish to take.”
The automobile service company also explained on its website that not wearing face-covering will no longer be a reason to report a user or driver: “Wearing a mask during rides is now optional for everyone in the car. Health safety reasons, like not wearing a mask, will no longer appear as a cancellation option. And your riders won’t be able to report you for those reasons.” Uber, on the other hand, is still asking drivers to confirm if they are wearing face coverings.
The two tech companies had been requiring drivers and passengers to wear masks since the beginning of the pandemic. The news had a big impact across the United States, and people will have to go through an adjustment process while they adapt to the new measures.
Mixed reactions have emerged across social media channels and different websites. Some customers in favor of the mask mandate removal have expressed relief and happiness with emojis and expressions like “Let’s go!” and “Finally”. Other users aren’t happy.
Frederick Joseph, an author and worried Uber user, wrote a message to the company on Twitter: “Please add functionality to request drivers who are wearing masks. As a person who is immunocompromised, and constantly in a rush, it’s inefficient at best to continually cancel Ubers until a driver shows up willing to wear a mask.”
Many users are worried about their safety and the functionality of the app. A few drivers have said on social media that they will no longer work for Uber or Lyft because they find the new measure unsafe or irresponsible. Uber has recommended users who prefer to wear masks message the driver or passenger, prior to pick-up, to make sure they are willing to wear face coverings.
A few customers are already complaining on social media about the different opinions regarding the optional mask rule. Yellow Cabs in New York City will still require passengers and drivers to wear masks, despite Lyft and Uber’s recent change of policy; however, it seems that more companies are joining the optional mask decision.
Uber Canada Joins
Now, Uber Canada has also announced dropping the mask mandate, it will only remain mandatory in Quebec, starting on April 22. A spokesperson shared the information with the Canadian news outlet CTVNews and also explained: “As per Health Canada’s advice, we still strongly recommend wearing a mask depending on personal risk factors and infection rates in your area.”
Although Canada still has their mask mandate in place for airports, trains, and airplanes, Uber riders now have the option to mask or not.
↓ Join the community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest reopening news, conversations, and Q&A’s happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox
Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories