Uber partner drivers in Pakistan will be asked, as part of a new in-app safety checklist, to verify that they are wearing a mask using their new object recognition web developer technology. Any driver who is not wearing a mask or a face covering will not be able to go online. Drivers can cancel the ride if a rider is not wearing a mask, without incurring a penalty. Partner drivers will also be asked to confirm if they have taken additional safety measures, such as regularly sanitizing their car and making hand sanitizers available for their riders. Riders will also be able to cancel rides, without incurring penalties, if drivers aren’t wearing masks.
Similarly, riders will be asked whether they have taken necessary safety precautions, like washing their hands before getting in the car, sitting in the backseat, and opening windows for ventilation. Only two riders per car will be allowed, in line with government regulations in Sindh and Peshawar, and three riders per car in Punjab and the Federal Capital.
Other safety initiatives announced in light of COVID-19 include:
- New health and hygiene feedback system: Uber is adding new options for feedback in the app. This includes an option to report if a rider or driver is wearing a mask or not. Anyone who is repeatedly flagged for violating the new safety policies risks losing access to Uber’s apps.
- Safety education materials: Working with the World Health Organization and the latest public health advice, Uber has compiled safety tips and recommendations specifically geared toward ridesharing. This will be used to educate riders and drivers on unsafe behavior.
- Financial Compensation: Financial assistance will be provided for up to 14 days to any driver who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is individually asked to self-isolate by a public health authority while their account is on hold.
These new safety measures will stay in effect until the end of July, when they will be reviewed based on the latest official health guidance.