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masks off

Uber drops mask mandate for riders and drivers

Uber's mask requirement is officially no more. 

The rideshare company has announced it will no longer require masks for riders or drivers as of April 19. It noted, though, that the CDC still recommends those who have "certain personal risk factors" or live in areas with high COVID-19 transmission levels wear a mask. 

"Remember: Many people still feel safer wearing a mask because of personal or family health situations, so please be respectful of their preferences," Uber said. "And if you ever feel uncomfortable, you can always cancel the trip." 

The move comes after a federal judge in Florida struck down the CDC's mask mandate for planes and public transportation, which had recently been extended. "The mask mandate exceeds the CDC's statutory authority," the ruling said. This led numerous major airlines, including Delta, American, and United, to announce they would no longer require masks — in some cases making the announcement mid-flight.

Uber previously required riders check off a box saying they were wearing a mask, and in May 2020, the company started requiring drivers to take selfies to confirm they had a mask on. As mask mandates began to ease throughout the country, The Wall Street Journal reported in March that drivers felt "the rules are becoming harder to enforce." 

Uber says it's also no longer requiring riders sit in the back seat, though they're asked to "only use the front seat if it's required because of the size of their group." The company says riders and drivers should continue taking other safety precautions like rolling down windows, washing their hands, and covering coughs and sneezes. 

As of Tuesday morning, Lyft hasn't announced whether it will also lift its mask requirement. The company currently says riders and drivers must "follow CDC guidance related to COVID-19, including wearing a face mask," noting a "mask is required even if you've been vaccinated."