Physical Health, Travel

Masks are no longer mandatary for Uber/Lyft

Are you still masking up?

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Sep 22, 2022

Earlier in May, Lyft and Uber removed the in-app button that allowed drivers in the U.S. to cancel rides, or even report passengers if they weren’t wearing masks, in order to protect themselves. This made it so each driver can set their own rules when it comes to mask-wearing.


However, this has officially changed, as Uber announced that masks are no longer required for riders or drivers in the U.S. This policy shift follows the revocation of a federal mask mandate on transportation that applied to aircraft, airports, taxis, buses, and other modes of mass transit made by Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a federal judge in Florida.


According to the Uber Blog:

“Drivers, couriers and riders will not have to wear masks and riders will not have to  ride in the backseat when using Uber, unless required by local authorities. The CDC still recommends that people wear masks on transit. We’ve reminded riders that many people may feel safer wearing a mask, to sit in the back unless they need the additional space, and to respect your preferences.”


There are now fewer options for riders with compromised immune systems to get around town if they don’t want to be in close proximity to people who aren’t wearing masks now that almost all public transit systems, including Philadelphia’s SEPTA, the Washington, D.C. regional train system, NYC’s MTA and New Jersey Transit, have also lifted mask requirements.


On its website, the ride-sharing app added: “If you ever feel uncomfortable, you can always cancel the trip.” However, this is harder for riders, because there’s no way to know if your driver will be wearing a mask or not, and cancelling a trip will often mean that you get stuck with a fee.


Even though the app’s guidelines relaxed the front seat policy, Uber asked that customers only utilize the front seat when absolutely required. The company also urged drivers to use hand sanitizer and to roll down their windows for more airflow.


While this makes sense seeing as more or less the mask mandate has been lifted for many industries and businesses, it still feels a little irresponsible and unfair to drivers who have to interact with so many people in one day. This will especially be more complicated as the winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, seeing as rolling down the windows will be less of an option.


Traveling by plane? You need one of these airline travel cards and Uber can now adjust your flight reservations and more.


Photo via Getty