As rideshare drivers, one question that comes up a lot is “Do we still have to wear masks?” This question is coming from drivers and passengers alike. The easy answer is “Yes”. But what is the reasoning behind it? What do drivers think about it? We asked our readers to tell us their thoughts. Here’s what we found.
Watch our discussion of this debate here: When Will Lyft And Uber Drop The Mask Requirement?
Update: Changes Coming to Mask Mandate Policy from Uber
It looks like drivers will no longer have to take selfies ‘proving’ they are wearing masks – see the notice from Uber below!
Note: This policy is so far only in affect for Uber, and does not mean drivers are allowed to go maskless. It just means you won’t have to take a selfie every single time.
How Drivers Feel About the Mask Mandate
As of the writing of this article, the survey we posted on the YouTube community page showed an overwhelming 53% of respondents want to do away with the mask mandate. Over 1.2k votes were cast at this point.
The survey results were coupled with comments from our followers:
Phil Benson pointed out, “If I cancel all of the rides where the passengers are not wearing a mask, I wouldn’t make any money.”
Ben B said that it should be up to the driver to require or not require a mask, and Rodney Brown backed him up by stating, “This decision is for the driver to make, not Uber or Lyft. We are independent contractors.”
However, Matthew Dixon reminded everyone, “It’s not Uber or Lyft’s rule to remove or not, it is a federal regulation at least until Sept 13. Same for busses, planes, trains, etc. Of course, drivers ultimately has the final discretion to enforce or not.”
Others have suggestions like not making it mandatory for drivers who have a shield or partition up already.
One passenger posted: “I had a driver the other day who kept annoying me, telling me to fix my mask, so i took 2 stars from her and gave her only 3 stars.”
A driver said their reason for not wanting the mask mandate to disappear is because having the mandate in place keeps UberPool rides from happening. Another responded, “You’re the only one smart enough to see what will happen when mask mandates are removed. Everyone else is bickering over ‘freedom of choice’ and ‘it’s not safe’. When in reality, rideshare companies will have us going back to driving around 3 different passengers for the price of one, while they charge per person.”
We asked the same question on Facebook and came across similar responses:
Gary Koehler said, “Yes, I won’t drive until they do.”
While on the other hand, Michael Abrams said, “No. If they drop it, I’m out.”
Robert Cudney, in part, said, “In the end, it’s up to the driver & the situation.”
Do Drivers Still Have to Wear Masks While Driving Passengers Around?
Yes. It is federally mandated that passengers and drivers must wear masks. It’s a bit wordy, but here it is (in part) from the CDC, as part of the Public Health Service Act:
The basic idea is that all travelers into and within the United States must wear masks while traveling, including rideshare passengers and drivers. Here’s the full text if you’re interested.
As of the writing of this article, this mask mandate for traveling is in effect until mid-September unless it’s either removed or pushed out longer. It technically is not up to Uber, Lyft, drivers or passengers to make the decision to drop the mask mandate since it is federally regulated.
Drivers, what do you think about the mask mandate? Do you notice passengers complaining about it more? If Uber and Lyft dropped the mask mandate, would you stop driving?
-Paula @ RSG