Following changes to the CDC guidance regarding face coverings on transportation, ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft will no longer require U.S. riders or drivers to wear masks.
On 18 April 2022, as a result of a court order, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that its 29 January 2021 Order requiring face coverings to be worn on public transportation conveyances and at transportation hubs would no longer be in effect. Though the CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time, the CDC will no longer be able to enforce the Order.
Following this, as of 19 April 2022, ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft announced that both riders and drivers will no longer be required to wear face coverings when using the companies’ services.
As of 19 April 2022, drivers, couriers and riders will no longer have to wear face coverings and riders will not have to ride in the backseat when using Uber, unless required by local authorities.
As the CDC still recommends that people wear masks on transit, Uber has reminded both riders and drivers that many people may feel safer wearing a mask; to sit in the back unless they need the additional space; and to respect personal preferences.
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If a rider does not want to wear a mask and the driver doesn’t feel safe taking the ride, Uber has outlined that the driver is able to cancel the ride and select ‘not safe to pick up’ as the cancellation reason. Similarly, riders may ask drivers to wear a mask, but drivers are not required to wear one. If the driver chooses not to wear one, the rider may cancel the trip. If this happens, the driver may get a cancellation fee.
Soon after the pandemic began, Lyft established new in-ride policies based closely on public health guidance from the CDC. Now that the CDC order mandating face coverings on transportation is no longer in effect, on 19 April 2022, Lyft updated its policies for riding and driving with the company.
Here’s what that means for riders and drivers:
- Wearing a face covering is now optional for everyone in the car
- Riders and drivers are no longer required to keep the front seat empty or the windows open
- While riders and drivers can always cancel any ride that they don’t wish to take, health safety reasons – like not wearing a face covering – will no longer appear as cancellation options in the app
- Riders and drivers should continue to not use Lyft if they have COVID-19 or any related symptoms.
Wearing face coverings on transportation may still be required by law in some areas, and Lyft is encouraging riders and drivers to check their local public health requirements before travelling.