Uber requiring mask selfies from some passengers before trips

Uber requiring mask selfies from some passengers before trips

Uber announced Tuesday that it will require some users of its ride-sharing app to take selfies of them wearing masks before taking more trips with the company.

Uber said in a press release that starting later this month, riders who had been flagged by drivers as not wearing masks on past trips will be required to take a selfie with their face covered before they can go on another ride. The new mask verification feature will be rolled out in the United States and Canada by the end of September and across “Latin America and other countries” later on. 

The company reminded readers that both drivers and riders have the option of canceling rides without any financial penalty if the other person isn’t wearing a mask. 

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The San Francisco-based company touted science showing that wearing masks is one of the most effective measures to preventing the spread of the coronavirus and said that so far 3.5 million drivers and delivery people have already completed over 100 million “mask verifications.”

The new tool is the latest effort by the ride-sharing company to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within its ride-shares. Uber in May announced it was allocating $50 million for the purchase and distribution of cleaning supplies and protective equipment for drivers. 

“When it comes to safety, we know our work is never done. That’s why we continue to develop new technology to help drivers stay safe. Wherever you’re traveling, we are committed to helping make every trip and delivery safe for all,” the company said. 

Uber has worked to ensure users that its rides are safe during the coronavirus pandemic as it works to reverse a sharp plunge in business. The number of trips on Uber during its most recent quarter dropped by 56 percent from the previous year, according to The Associated Press.