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Uber Drivers Will Have to Wear Masks... And It Will Know If They Don't

By Donna Fuscaldo - May 4, 2020 at 10:36AM

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With countries reopening, Uber wants to ensure its drivers and riders are safe when ride-hailing services resume.

Uber (UBER 5.53%) is readying plans to start providing ride-hailing services again as countries begin to reopen, but will require drivers in the U.S. and other regions to wear masks or face coverings. 

Citing a person familiar with the matter, that Uber is working on technology to confirm drivers are wearing protective coverings before they start giving rides, CNN Business reports. In a statement to CNN, a Uber spokesperson said the company is instituting the face covering policy to protect drivers and riders. The spokesperson noted that, as of now, drivers who are not providing essential trips are still not working for Uber. 

A ride-hailing driver in a red car wearing a face mask.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Drivers will have to wear a mask or face covering even if the company isn't able to provide one. Uber has been working since last month to get protective gear, including masks, to its delivery workers and drivers. It's not clear what the technology Uber is developing will look like. However, the company already has its Real-Time ID-Check program, which relies on face recognition to ensure a driver is who he or she says they are. 

With the U.S. under shelter at home rules for several weeks, companies are beginning to develop strategies to restart operations while adhering to safety and social distancing rules. The tech stock has been hit hard by the pandemic, which left little reason for people to hail a ride. Just last week, a report surfaced that Uber could slash its workforce by 20%, amounting to job reductions of as much as 5,400. Earlier in April, Uber withdrew its financial targets for 2020 because of the pandemic. 

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