Coronavirus: Lyft to require drivers, riders to wear masks; launches personal health certification

Passengers will also be required to sanitize their hands frequently, keep their windows open and not sit in the front seat next to the driver

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Ride hailing service Lyft said that both passengers and drivers will be required to wear masks before taking a ride. The company also said that passengers and drivers will have to complete a heath certification program including confirming that they don't have any symptoms associated with the coronavirus before each ride.

The new rules come as states start lifting lockdown and businesses are adhering to new stricter safety measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19. A day earlier, Lyft said that its number of active riders represented a 3 per cent year-over-year improvement, despite the impact of coronavirus pandemic on travel and transportation in the United States. Lyft also said that the market has started recovering but the process will be slow.

Lyft implements new rules


Lyft riders will need to check a few boxes before taking a ride. The drive-hailing service announced that users of its service will now have to submit a "Personal Health Certification" before every ride. The certification will require drivers and riders to self-certify that they are following Centers for Disease Control and local guidelines related to COVID-19.

Moreover, both drivers and riders will have to wear face masks or covering, and they would not ride or drive with Lyft if they have Covid-19 or think they have related symptoms. Also, passengers will be required to clean and sanitize their hands frequently, keep their windows open whenever possible to avoid recirculating air and not sit in the front seat next to the driver.

Lyft said that it will provide masks and cleaning supplies for all it drivers through Lyft hubs, a few of which will reopen soon. Passengers who don't consent to the certification won't be allowed to take a ride with Lyft.

Ride hailing services try returning to business


Ride hailing services across the world have been suffering for the past few months following the coronavirus outbreak as more people are staying in their homes and maintaining social distancing. The new guidelines come as ride-hailing services make an attempt to bounce back from the brink of collapse.

Uber, Lyft's biggest competitor, had earlier said that it would introduce a technology wherein a driver will have to submit a photograph of their face covered with mask to make sure they are following the company's guidelines. Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing is installing a plastic barrier in all its vehicles that to protect its drivers and riders.

Lyft had earlier said that it would distribute masks to its more than one million drivers, particularly in cities where masks are required by law following the easing of restrictions by many states. However, the company didn't mention how many masks will be distributed.

Lyft, which has operations in the United States and Canada, last week in its earnings call said that ridership has improved over 20 per cent after its business took a massive hit following the coronavirus outbreak. Lyft also said that more people will start availing its ride-hailing service once the restrictions start easing further, which will finally help it make up for the lost revenues.

Related topics : Coronavirus