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Updates

Mandatory face coverings for riders and drivers

May 15 / Ireland

By law, you have to wear a face covering on public transport. 

To help protect the health and safety of everyone, face coverings or masks are mandatory for anyone riding or driving with Uber. This is subject to the exemption set out below.

If you are riding with Uber and your driver arrives without a face covering, you can cancel your ride. Similarly, if you are driving with Uber and a rider is not wearing a face covering, you have the right to cancel the ride. Anyone who is required to wear a face covering and repeatedly fails to do so will permanently lose their access to the Uber platform.

Exemptions from face coverings

If a user is required by law to wear a face covering while on a trip, they must do so. If a user is exempt from the legal requirement, they are exempt from Uber’s requirement to wear a face covering. This exemption is generally where it is not appropriate to wear one due to mitigating circumstances such as their age, medical condition and/or disability. This may include:

  • has trouble breathing
  • is unconscious or incapacitated
  • is unable to remove it without help
  • has special needs and who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing them
  • needs to communicate with someone who has learning difficulties, is hard of hearing or deaf
  • children under the age of 13

Please note, a condition may be non-visible, such as a mental health or respiratory condition.

What to do if you are exempt

If a rider or driver is exempt from this requirement, they should explain before pick up via the app and/or at pick up that they are exempt based on Government guidance. In general, people who are exempt do not need to ask for a letter from a GP about the reason for not wearing a face covering.

If you have any doubts or concerns about wearing a face covering or mask, we recommend that you seek the advice of your doctor.


If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, please contact Uber support.

Riders can do this via the online help centre page or via the app through Help>More>Face Covering Exemption.

Drivers can do this via the online help centre page or via the driver app – Help>Safety and security>Face Covering Exemption.

Please note It is up to each rider or driver to determine whether or not they are exempt from any legal requirement to wear a face covering. If in any doubt, please seek medical and/or legal advice as appropriate.

More information

The Republic of Ireland Government’s guidance on use of face coverings in the Republic of Ireland can be found here.

‘Sit in the back’ policy exemption

Sit in the back rider policy

To help keep as much distance between riders and drivers, riders are no longer permitted to sit in the front seat when on a trip using the Uber platform.

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 Taxi or Uber Black can now carry 3 passengers instead of 4.

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 the vehicle, the driver should politely explain the new back seat policy.

Drivers can keep their vehicle’s front doors locked to help enforce this rule.

Cancellation

If you are riding with Uber, and your driver will not let you use the backseat, you can cancel your ride. Similarly, if you are driving with Uber, and your rider will not use the backseat only, you have the right to cancel the ride.

Exemptions

Not every rider may be able to use the backseat of a vehicle. This requirement does not apply to individuals who are unable to use the backseat due to their medical condition and/or disability.

If a rider is exempt, they should explain this to the driver before pick up via the app (or, otherwise, at pick up). A rider does not need to explain why they are exempt (e.g. details of their condition), just that they are.

Please note, a condition may be non-visible, such as a mental health condition.

Please do not travel if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or should be in quarantine or self-isolation

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

If any relevant official guidance or requirement means you should be in quarantine or self-isolating for any reason, you should not take any trips on the Uber platform. For example, if you have been instructed by a Public Health official to self-isolate. 

Taking trips on the Uber platform in breach of Government guidance or a legal requirement to self isolate or quarantine could lead to you permanently losing your access to the Uber platform.

You can find more guidance from the Ireland Government here.