Lyft Will Require Drivers and Passengers to Wear Face Masks

A ride share driver picks up passengers at O'Hare Airport on April 10, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo credit Scott Olson/Getty Images

Lyft announced Thursday its Health Safety Program with new policies, commitments, and products designed to address the needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As local governments begin to ease stay-at-home orders, Lyft is ramping up its efforts to protect riders and drivers - this includes leading in the establishment of new health and safety standards for ridesharing.

The Health Safety Program includes the following initiatives:

—Personal health certification for drivers and riders—Required face masks for drivers and riders—Health safety education for drivers and riders—Cleaning supplies and masks for drivers

Before using Lyft, every rider and driver will be required to self-certify that they will wear face masks throughout the ride, are symptom-free, and will follow CDC guidelines and local regulations related to COVID-19, the company said in a statement.

Specifically, riders and drivers will confirm that:

—They will wear a face mask or covering—They will not ride or drive with Lyft if they have COVID-19, think they have it, or have related symptoms—They will keep vehicles clean and sanitize their hands frequently—They will leave windows open when possible and avoid recirculated air when possible—Passengers will not ride in the front seat

Lyft is also rolling out new Health Safety Education for riders and drivers. The educational content will be based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) rideshare guidance and adhere to Canadian health official requirements, and will provide the Lyft community with information to best protect themselves and others during rides. Drivers can access the information starting Thursday in their Lyft app. Corresponding educational content will be rolling out for riders soon, the company said.

“With guidance from the CDC, Public Health Agency of Canada, WHO, and local officials, Lyft is taking action to build products and implement policies that help keep riders and drivers safe, as well as empower our community to protect themselves and those around them,” said Angie Westbrock, VP of Global Operations and Head of Lyft’s COVID-19 Response Task Force, in a statement. “We want these new initiatives to have a meaningful impact and set a new standard for rideshare health safety.”

Additionally, Lyft will provide face coverings in Chicago at no cost to drivers. Providing face coverings follows Lyft’s previous distribution of sanitizing products and other cleaning supplies at no cost to drivers. In light of the latest CDC guidance on face coverings, Lyft has ordered hundreds of thousands of cloth face coverings for drivers. The company said it will continue to alert drivers when these supplies are available.

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