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COVID-19: Driver Safety and Wellbeing

January 8 / United Kingdom

The fear and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus is being felt by everyone around the world. We know it’s especially concerning for people who drive with Uber. In these difficult times, your well-being is important to us, and we have a dedicated team working to support you.

Important safety guidance

If you are feeling sick, the most important thing you can do right now is to stay home, if possible, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

For more information on how to get financial assistance if you’re feeling sick or isolating, please click here.

For information on government assistance, please click here.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) recommendations

Your safety is always our priority – see below for a summary of the personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines for partner drivers who have chosen to continue driving with Uber during the COVID-19 crisis.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)Uber MedicsRegular Uber Products
Wear a general protective face mask or covering while drivingRequiredRequired
Wear disposable gloves while drivingRequiredRecommended
Have and use hand sanitiser regularly while drivingRequiredRecommended
Clean your vehicle after every trip, focusing on areas that riders may have touched, like seat belts or car doors and handles.RequiredRecommended
Wear a disposable apron while cleaning your vehicleRecommendedRecommended
Wear disposable gloves while cleaning your vehicleRecommendedRecommended
Use an antibacterial surface spray to clean the surfaces in your vehicleRecommendedRecommended

Mandatory face covering policy

Face masks or coverings are mandatory for everyone riding or driving with Uber. This is to help protect the health and safety of you and your rider.

Face coverings for riders
We have informed riders via press, social, email and the Uber app that face coverings are now mandatory so they should know about the policy. If you ever feel unsafe or if a rider is not wearing a face cover or mask, you can cancel the trip and report it to Uber’s support team by selecting “No face cover or mask” as your cancellation reason. Cancellations for these reasons will not count towards your cancellation rate and won’t be a factor in determining your eligibility for Uber Pro.

Important information for drivers
If you are not wearing a face mask or covering when you arrive at the pickup location a rider also has the right to cancel their trip and they will not be charged a cancellation fee for doing so. Finally, both riders or drivers who are repeatedly flagged for not wearing a face covering will risk losing access to the app.

The requirement to wear a face covering or mask when riding or driving with Uber does not apply where it is not appropriate for a rider or driver to do so due to mitigating circumstances such as their age, medical condition and/or disability. Please click here to read more about face covering exemptions.

PPE: How to videos

How to wear a face cover or mask

How to disinfect your vehicle

Purchasing PPE & PPE Reimbursement

We want to ensure that you have the personal protective equipment (PPE) listed above, so we are now offering to reimburse you for purchasing PPE up to the total value of £25. 

This reimbursement includes the purchase of: 

  • General protective masks
  • Gloves
  • Aprons

In addition, we have also already sent all drivers a promo code for a free bundle of surface spray and hand sanitiser, redeemable through our new webstore.

How you can claim

To make your one-time claim of up to £25 towards the cost of buying your own PPE supplies, all you need to do is upload a copy of your receipt along with a photo of the items you purchased. You can do this from the help section of your app.

Who can claim

  • You will need to have an active account with Uber
  • Your account must have been set up on or before 16 March 2020
  • You must have taken 1 or more trips in the last 30 days
  • You will also be eligible if you have been waitlisted due to COVID-19

Receiving your reimbursement

You will receive your PPE reimbursement in your next payment cycle.

Make sure to purchase PPE which meets the required standards

  • Masks: Please purchase fluid-resistant surgical masks and not N95, FFP3 or FFP2 masks, as these are needed by medical workers and are in short supply.
  • Aprons: Aprons should be disposable fluid repellent coveralls or long-sleeved gowns and are for single session use only. 
  • Gloves: Gloves should be disposable (single use only). 

All PPE should comply with British Standards (BS) or European Norms (EN) to ensure it meets the required standard of safety. Compliance with these standards is normally indicated by items being marked ‘CE’.

Free sanitation supplies in our webstore

In addition to being reimbursed for PPE up to £25, you can also claim a free hand gel and sanitiser in our new PPE webstore. Check your inbox for your personal promo code. Terms and conditions apply.

Wellbeing resources

We understand this might be a difficult time for you and your family. If you feel like circumstances related to coronavirus are impacting your mental health, you can speak to someone by calling Samaritans UK at 116 123, or visiting their website here. Support is also available through a dedicated NHS website here.

Sit in the back rider policy

To help keep as much distance between you and your passengers, from May 27, 2020 riders are no longer permitted to sit in the front seat of your vehicle.

New vehicle capacity

Because the front seat is now out of bounds, this means that all vehicle capacity is reduced by one passenger. For example, an Uber X can now carry 3 passengers instead of 4, and an Uber XL can carry up to 5.

What to do if a rider gets in the front seat

If a rider tries to get in the front seat or the number of passengers exceeds the new limit of your vehicle, politely explain the new back seat policy and advise the riders to either re-book an Uber XL or to request an additional vehicle for the extra passengers. We have informed riders of this change via email and in the Uber app, so they should know about the policy.

You can keep your front doors locked to help enforce this rule, and you are entitled to cancel the trip if the rider doesn’t wish to comply. This will result in a cancellation fee for the rider if applicable and these cancellations will not impact your Uber Pro status.

If you’re self-isolating with COVID-19 symptoms

The UK Government has announced that essential workers or anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home are now eligible to get tested for COVID-19. 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-refer to the Government for a coronavirus test here and continue to follow the guidance for self-isolating set out here.

If you are working and do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you should not take a COVID-19 test. We understand from the Government that testing right now is restricted to those who are symptomatic (and thus self-isolating). 

Test results

If your test result is negative, then the Government has advised that you can safely return to work should you want to, as long as:

  • you are well enough
  • you have not had a high temperature for 48 hours
  • anyone you live with also tests negative

If your test result is positive, or anyone you live with tests positive, you should continue to self-isolate, in line with Government guidance.  

If your condition gets worse, or you do not get better after 7 days, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online. For any medical emergency dial 999.

Frequently Asked Questions