Uber announces new regulations amid coronavirus pandemic

Now, drivers and riders must wear a face mask.

Posted: May 18, 2020 7:23 PM

Starting Monday, if you want to take an Uber, you have to wear a mask.

The ride-sharing service now requires both drivers and riders wear one.

WAAY-31 spoke to an Uber driver about what other changes the service is doing to keep everyone safe.

An Uber driver who told us ridership is down since fewer people are out... but she's hopeful to see a change soon.

She said wearing a mask is an easy way for drivers and riders to feel safer.

"Before we go online on the app, once you press online, it's going to ask you to take a picture of yourself and if you don't have the mask, it will not let you continue," said Vilmaliz Hernandez-Barea.

Hernandez-Barea drives for Uber, but she isn't working now because she's at high risk for complications from the coronavirus.

She told WAAY-31 she and other Uber drivers like the new guidelines because it makes them feel safe.

Some states require Uber drivers to have a plastic barrier between the front and the back seats, but Alabama isn't one of them.

WAAY-31 rode in an Uber, and the driver told us not only do they have to wear a mask...you do too.

If you don't, you could end up without a ride.

"As a driver, you can cancel the ride if the rider doesn't have the mask," she said.

Uber sent out a release saying the new changes are effective starting Monday, and will continue until further notice.

The company also says riders aren't allowed in the front seat anymore... to allow for space while driving.

The Uber driver we rode with also said the company is sending drivers face masks.

Even thought ridership is lower, Hernandez-Barea says she and others are ready to start serving again.

"He hopes everything can go back to normal and we can get more rides," she said.

Uber also urges riders and drivers to sanitize before and after getting in and out of the vehicle.

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