As an Uber passenger, you already have to verify that you've washed or sanitized your hands and that you're wearing a mask before getting into a ride. But the company will soon require users who show disregard or ignorance of those rules to submit to additional verification. If a driver reports a passenger didn't have any protective gear on them, that person will have to take a selfie of themselves wearing a mask or face covering before they're able to take another trip with Uber.
The move builds on the health and safety policy the company announced on May 13th in response to the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, Uber said it would require its drivers and delivery people to take a selfie of themselves wearing a mask and submit it to the company using the Uber app before accepting any jobs. Uber asked the same of passengers, but all you had to do was say you completed its in-app safety checklist. "We firmly believe that accountability is a two-way street. That's why we're expanding the same technology to riders," the company said in explaining its reasoning. When it announced the original policy, it said "drivers and riders who repeatedly violate mask policies risk losing access to Uber."
The updated rules come as Uber continues to try to mitigate the pandemic's effects on its business. At the start of the month, the company said during its Q2 2020 earnings that total ride-hailing bookings were down by 73 percent year-over-year in constant currency measurements. Uber plans to roll out the new verification process to the US and Canada by the end of September, with other markets to follow.