As it anticipates a restart to its core rideshare business amid the pandemic, Uber (UBER) plans to require drivers and riders to wear face masks or face coverings when using the platform in certain countries, including the United States, CNN Business has learned.
Executives approved the new policy in a meeting this past week, according to a person familiar with the matter, and the requirement is expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
As part of the policy, Uber is in the process of developing technology to detect if drivers are wearing masks or face coverings before they go online and start accepting trips, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the policy decision was just made recently and has not yet been introduced. The company already has face verification capabilities as part of its "Real Time ID-check" feature used to verify the identity of drivers. Uber is also looking into ways to hold riders accountable, the person said.
Uber confirmed to CNN Business that the company plans to introduce a policy around requiring masks or face coverings in certain markets, and that it is developing technology to detect drivers' usage of face coverings.
"As countries reopen, Uber is focused on safety and proceeding with caution. Today, we continue to ask riders to stay home if they can, while shipping safety supplies to drivers who are providing essential trips. At the same time, our teams are preparing for the next phase of recovery, where we will all have a role to play," said Uber's head of safety communications Andrew Hasbun in a statement to CNN Business.