covid-19 /

Uber Drops Mask Requirement

The announcement comes the day after a judge voided the federal transportation mask mandate

Ride-service company Uber ended its mask requirement for drivers and passengers.

The company said anyone who feels uncomfortable can cancel their trip.

“As of April 19, 2022, riders and drivers are not required to wear masks when using Uber,” the company said in a statement on its website. “However, the CDC still recommends wearing a mask if you have certain personal risk factors and/or high transmission levels in your area.”

Remember: many people still feel safer wearing a mask because of personal or family health situations, so please be respectful of their preferences,” Uber added. “And if you ever feel uncomfortable, you can always cancel the trip.”

Uber has already rescinded mask mandates for Uber users and drivers in the United Kingdom and Ireland after local guidelines were relaxed. 

Lyft, Uber’s major competitor, has not yet announced if it will take a similar step.

The announcement comes the day after Florida federal judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle voided the federal transportation mask mandate introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The judge contends the CDC failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act and did not properly justify its decision. 

According to CBS News, “the mask requirement for travelers was the target of months of lobbying from the airlines, which sought to kill it. The carriers argued that effective air filters on modern planes make transmission of the virus during a flight highly unlikely.”

While Mizelle’s decision is under review, the Transportation Security Administration will not enforce the mandate.

Several airlines, including Delta, Alaskan Airlines, and United, all ended their mask mandate on April 18, the day of Mizelle’s decision. 

In addition to ending the mask requirement, “Uber also relaxed its no-front-seat policy, which required riders to sit in the back seat to give drivers more space during the pandemic,” reports Tech Crunch. “But Uber requested that riders only use the front seat if it’s necessary due to the size of their group.”

Uber drivers were encouraged to use hand sanitizer and roll down their windows for ventilation.

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