Uber passengers and drivers will start wearing masks as part of a series of changes the ride-hailing app is making during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the company said the new safety features will take effect Monday (May 18), as more cities begin the processing of re-opening.
“Before drivers are table to start accepting trips, they will be asked to take a selfie with a mask on,” Uber said in a press release. “Our new technology will verify the driver is wearing a mask or face covering and let the rider know when the driver is en route.”
Other changes include an online checklist riders and drivers can use to confirm they have taken precautions to limit the transmission of the coronavirus.
Operators will have to allow for more space in their vehicles.
Uber said it is advising riders to not sit in the front seat, meaning most vehicles will be limited to a maximum of three passengers.
App users will be able to report if they are seeing passengers or driver not properly physically distancing or adhering to public health protocols.
“We are adding new options for feedback, including if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask or face covering,” the release said. “Drivers and riders are being encouraged to cancel trips if they don’t feel safe, including if a user is not wearing a mask or face cover.”
Uber said that it has been urging people to stay home as the pandemic has spread around the world over the last two months.
Now that cities are beginning to re-open, the company said it is looking at ways of making its service safer.