uber mask

Ubers in Ontario will no longer require masks for drivers or passengers

One month after mask mandates in most indoor public settings were dropped in Ontario, Uber has made the decision to likewise remove the requirement for both drivers and passengers to wear a face covering during trips, not only in the province but across most of Canada.

Ubers, Lyfts and other rideshare vehicles are among the few settings where people are still obligated to don a face covering, a decision made by the respective companies.

But, Uber has confirmed rumours that this rule is changing, effective this Friday, April 22.

"In accordance with provincial public health guidelines, masks will no longer be required when using Uber in Canada (except Quebec)," a spokesperson for the brand told blogTO on Tuesday evening.

"However, as per Health Canada's advice, we still strongly recommend wearing a mask depending on personal risk factors and infection rates in your area."

The app is asking that customers be respectful of the wishes of their drivers (and drivers of their customers) if they are asked to don the garment, as many feel safer if everyone in the confines of a vehicle is masked up.

And, it seems that based on reactions to the news so far, some are indeed planning to keep wearing the accessory on rides, or even to abandon Uber altogether over the change.

Drivers will be able to cancel a trip "for safety reasons" if a passenger refuses to wear a mask when requested to do so, if they so choose. If a user is asked to wear a mask and declines, they can also cancel, but will be subject to the usual cancellation policies and fees.

"Everyone who uses Uber’s platform is expected to make every experience feel safe, respectful, and positive," the company states. "As we move forward and mask guidance and COVID-19 protocols continue to evolve, we're committed to maintaining policies that help everyone on our platform remain as safe as possible."

Despite the fact that the U.S. just shed its masking rules for air and train travel, Canadians will still be required to wear a face covering at airports, on planes and on trains nationwide for the foreseeable future.

In Ontario, the garment will remain compulsory until further notice in healthcare facilities, on public transit, and in certain congregate living situations such as detention centres and long-term care homes provincewide, per government orders.

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert

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