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Bucharest
March 4, 2021
BUSINESS

Uber launches Mask Verification as part of new safety measures

  • Uber will require all riders, drivers, and couriers to confirm they are wearing a face covering before taking a trip or making a delivery across Romania.
  • Other safety measures in Romania include free in-vehicle partitions, in-app checklists for drivers and riders, safety cards in the cars, and personal protection equipment for drivers

As governments begin to lift lockdowns, Uber is taking unprecedented safety measures to help everyone who uses its app to stay safe and healthy.

Starting this week, all Uber riders, drivers and couriers in Romania will be shown dedicated safety information and a checklist in the app before they can take a trip.

In Romania, drivers will be asked to take a selfie to verify they are wearing a mask or face covering, using an in-app verification technology. Any driver who is not wearing a mask or other acceptable face covering will not be able to go online. They will also be required to confirm they’ve taken additional safety measures such as regularly sanitizing their car and making hand sanitizer available for their riders. In addition, Uber will equip drivers with plastic in-vehicle partitions free of charge over the next weeks and has been providing them with free sanitizers throughout the last months.

At the same time, riders will also be reminded of safety information in the app before taking a trip. They will be asked to confirm they have taken a few key safety steps recommended by the official public health authorities, such as washing their hands before getting in the car or sitting in the backseat and opening windows for ventilation.

These new safety measures will be introduced on Monday, May 18, and stay in effect until the end of June, when they will be reviewed based on the latest official health guidance.

 

In Romania, the following actions have been taken to ensure increased safety:

  • Protective shields for vehicles: Uber is working intensively with a Romanian partner company from Bucharest to equip the majority of active drivers in Romania with free shields throughout the next months. These will help riders and drivers keep a safe distance inside the car. Uber will cover the costs for several thousand shields, so that nearly all drivers will receive one free of charge over the next weeks.
  • COVID safety cards: Safety cards will be visible in drivers’ vehicles, to educate and remind all users about safety instructions
  • Sanitizers: Drivers have received hundreds of free sanitizers from Uber over the last few weeks. In total, Uber will provide more than 3’000 over the course of the next few weeks.
  • Driver checklist: Drivers will be asked to confirm safety measures and pass an in-app verification that they are wearing a mask
  • Rider checklist: Riders will be asked to confirm they have taken a few key safety steps recommended by the official public health authorities, such as washing their hands before getting in the car, or sitting in the backseat and opening windows for ventilation.
  • Free cancellations for safety concerns: Drivers can cancel a ride without a penalty if a rider isn’t wearing a mask or face covering. Riders can do the same. These cancellations must be related to safety concerns, Uber’s Community Guidelines prohibit discrimination against anyone based on their race or perceived national origin.
  • New health and hygiene feedback system: We are adding new options for feedback in the Uber app, including if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask. Anyone who is repeatedly flagged for violating our new safety policies risks losing access to Uber’s apps.
  • Safety education materials: Working the World Health Organization and the latest public health advice, we have compiled safety tips and recommendations specifically geared toward ridesharing and food delivery. This will be used to educate riders, drivers, couriers, and restaurants when we learn of unsafe behavior.
  • Financial support: Drivers and couriers diagnosed with COVID-19 – or those having to self-isolate – will receive financial assistance from Uber for up to 14 days. During this time, they will not be able to log in to the Uber app.

 

Since the pandemic began, Uber has taken meaningful steps to help keep everyone on the Uber platform safe. This includes providing the latest public health information in our apps, introducing contactless delivery on Uber Eats and providing active drivers and couriers diagnosed with COVID-19 – or those having to self-isolate – with financial assistance from Uber for up to 14 days. This is in addition to the free Partner Protection insurance with AXA, which covers sickness, injury, maternity and paternity payments for eligible independent drivers and couriers in Europe.

Uber is also allocating $50 million globally to help provide drivers and couriers with access to the protective equipment, cleaning, and sanitizing supplies they need to work more safely on the Uber app. This includes purchasing and beginning to distribute more than 7 million masks, and over 350,000 units of sanitizing and cleaning supplies to drivers and couriers across Europe.

In addition, Uber will partner with consumer goods company Unilever to provide hygiene kits to drivers and couriers in the UK, with plans to expand to more countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa soon. The kits will include Cif (Jif) Antibacterial Multi-Purpose Spray and Lifebuoy alcohol-based hand gel, among other items.

 

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber, said: “For months we’ve been urging people to stay home, for their safety andthe safety of drivers who continue to make essential trips. Now, as cities begin to reopen and people start moving again, we are taking unprecedented measures to help everyone stay safe and healthy, every time they use Uber. This includes working with partners like Unilever to help ensure drivers, couriers and riders have access to safety equipment they need to work and travel more safely.”

Looking forward, Uber is committed by working with governments and public health bodies to help everyone stay safe when using Uber’s apps.

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