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Uber will require all of its drivers and passengers to wear face masks when the country reopens

This makes sense, but how will riders feel about the policy?

uber driver setting own price
Image: Unsplash

Uber is trying to jumpstart its ridesharing business in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and instituting policies that it hopes will keep both riders and drivers safe. The most interesting part? The ridesharing service will require that drivers and riders wear face masks or other face coverings in some countries, including the United States.

The policy has been approved by Uber executives in the last few days and is expected to be in place within weeks. Uber is also reportedly working on tech that will detect if drivers are wearing face coverings. This tech would prevent a driver from accepting rides if no face covering is detected. It’s also looking at ways to continually monitor to verify that face coverings are worn at all times when on duty.

That’s a ramping up of the current policy, in which Uber suggests all drivers should wear masks, as per CDC guidelines. Uber also says it has ordered “tens of millions” of masks for its drivers and has been shipping them out, starting with the hardest-hit areas such as New York City. Disinfecting spray is also being shipped out, as well.

Uber has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with figures from March showing some areas like Seattle having up to 70 percent less ride volume. Gross bookings have dropped as much as 80 percent, according to The Information.

While normal rides are on the decline, Uber Eats use is skyrocketing, with a 70 percent increase. With drivers not picking up passengers, Uber also rolled out two new services, Uber Connect which lets you send personal items across town, and Uber Direct, which delivers items from pharmacies and pet stores.

What do you think? Do you think this is a smart more from Uber? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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