A day after a federal judge struck down national mask requirements for planes, airports, and other forms of public transportation, Uber and Lyft announced Tuesday that drivers and passengers may now freely expose their faces in their vehicles as masks are now optional for both ride-sharing companies.
“The CDC order requiring masks while using rideshare platforms such as Uber is no longer in effect, and we’ve revised our COVID-19 mask and front-seat policies accordingly,” Uber told riders in an email Tuesday. “As of April 19, 2022, riders and drivers are not required to wear masks when using Uber. However, the CDC still recommends wearing a mask if you have certain personal risk factors and/or high transmission levels in your area.”
The company notes, “Remember: many people still feel safer wearing a mask because of personal or family health situations, so please be respectful of their preferences. And if you ever feel uncomfortable, you can always cancel the trip.”
As for front seat riding, Uber said, “Riders are no longer required to sit in the back seat. However, to give drivers space, we ask that riders only use the front seat if it’s required because of the size of their group.”
Lyft says it will now also be welcoming your pretty face. In a Tuesday rule-change it announced, “Wearing a mask is now optional for everyone in the car,” and, “Riders and drivers are no longer required to keep the front seat empty or the windows open.”
Again, although the mandate is gone, it’s still your face, your choice: “While riders and drivers can always cancel any ride they don’t wish to take, health safety reasons—like not wearing a mask—will no longer appear as cancellation options in the app. Riders and drivers should continue to not use Lyft if they have COVID-19 or any related symptoms.”
In disposing of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control’s nationwide mask mandate on Monday, Federal District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in St. Petersburg, Florida, said that the requirement was “arbitrary and capricious,” adding, “Wearing a mask cleans nothing. At most, it traps virus droplets. But it neither ‘sanitizes’ the person wearing the mask nor ‘sanitizes’ the conveyance.”
The Transportation Security Administration said on Monday that it will no longer enforce the public travel mask mandate.
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