28 June 2020: Uber announces the launch of 10 new safety measures and a new on-trip protocol in Egypt as cities reopen and people begin to move again. Uber is taking unprecedented actions to help everyone who uses its app stay safe and healthy while on trip, including requiring face masks for riders and drivers in accordance with government mandates, facilitating a vehicle disinfection service, and launching a new tech tool to verify if drivers are wearing a mask.
“We have been planning for the next phase and what the ‘new normal’ of taking an Uber trip would look like, and rider and driver safety remains a top priority as we get back on the road. We’re continuously learning about our users and their current need for access to distanced, hygienic, and safe modes of transportation as we move to coexist with COVID-19, which is why we’re proud to launch the new safety measures to help everyone who uses the app feel safe and at ease while on trip,” commented Ahmed Khalil, General Manager of Uber Egypt.
Safety measures announced today include:
Pre-Trip Hygiene Precautions:
- Vehicle Disinfecting: In partnership with Nacita AutoCare, Uber is offering eligible drivers with free vehicle sanitization services at 5 of Nacita’s branches in Cairo and Alexandria.
- Sanitizers Reimbursement: Reimbursing eligible drivers for the one-time purchase of a sanitizer or disinfectant product of their choice.
- Safety Checklists: Uber has launched a new interactive safety checklist that riders and drivers must acknowledge before using the app:
- Drivers are required to follow local public health authority COVID-19 advice, including hand washing, cleaning cars and using sanitising products. When logging into the app, drivers will receive the checklist of steps that must be confirmed before providing trips on the Uber platform.
- Riders will also be required to take safety precautions including following public health requirements, and will receive a reminder before each trip to follow hygiene best practices, like washing their hands before getting in the car, sitting in the backseat and opening windows for ventilation.
- Mask Detection: Uber has launched an in-app face recognition tool to confirm that drivers are wearing a mask or face covering before going online. Once confirmed, riders will then receive a message that the driver is wearing a mask and has taken the necessary precautions and is ready to pick you up.
- Free cancellations for safety concerns: Drivers can cancel a ride without a penalty if a rider isn’t wearing a mask or face covering. Riders can do the same. These cancellations must be related to safety concerns, as Uber’s Community Guidelines prohibit discrimination against anyone based on their race or perceived national origin.
New On-trip Protocol:
- Mandatory Face Masks: Following the government’s latest safety guidance, all riders and drivers are now required to wear masks or face coverings when using the Uber app. To help drivers follow the local health authority’s safety guidance, we’ve provided drivers with free masks at Nacita AutoCare branches.
- Seating: The maximum seating capacity has been reduced to 3, and riders are encouraged to sit in the back seat for physical distancing between riders and drivers.
- Payment: Riders are encouraged to pay with their credit/debit card or through Fawry outlets to avoid the exchanging of cash.
- New Safety and hygiene feedback: The post-trip app feedback now has new options, including if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask. The feedback received through these tags will be considered in accordance with Uber’s Mandatory Face Covering Standard.
- All safety measures and new protocol are applied on trips on Uber Bus as well, including mandatory face masks for all riders and drivers while on a trip. Adding to that, all buses now have sanitizer dispensers that riders can use while coming in or going out of the bus. The seating capacity has been set to a maximum of 8 per trip so far to encourage physical distancing between riders.
These new safety measures are applied on all Uber products, and will stay in effect for the coming period, and will be reviewed based on the latest official health guidance. Looking forward, Uber is committed by working with governments and public health bodies to help everyone stay safe when using the Uber app.