Be smart and considerate during all upcoming trips.

By Maggie Seaver
June 30, 2020
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Throughout the more severe lockdown measures of this past spring, Uber was adamant about encouraging users to stay home—off the app and off the road—in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Now, as parts of the country start to reopen little by little—and citizens consider more summer travel options—the rideshare service remains dedicated to keeping riders and drivers as safe as possible.

Knowing car travel is quickly becoming a preferred mode of transportation this summer amid the pandemic, Uber recently announced that all riders are required to wear a face mask or cover during trips, among other preventive recommendations.

As Americans gear up to celebrate the Fourth of July, Uber wants to ensure safety and sanitation continue to be front and center for anyone taking rides to and from their respective holiday weekend destinations. In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), Uber is sharing top rideshare safety tips, which you can also find within your app's COVID-19 resource hub.

Riders and drivers alike need to do their part to keep themselves, each other, and their fellow citizens out of harm's way. So read and adopt these five easy, no-brainer safety precautions before hopping in an Uber this summer. Because a) it's the rules, and b) why not?

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In alignment with both CDC and WHO preventive health guidelines, Uber now requires all riders to wear a face mask or cover during their trip. In addition, riders have grounds to cancel a trip if their Uber driver isn't wearing one. Long story, short? Wear a face covering. (Check out this Uber Newsroom article outlining how the company is verifying safety for all drivers and riders.)

You've heard this before, and it's not going away. Washing hands—thoroughly and properly—is one of the easiest, most obvious ways to kill the spread of germs we can pick up from touching pretty much anything, from our own noses to car door handles. Uber says practice responsible hygiene by washing your hands before and after every trip, to avoid bringing germs into an Uber and taking them with you afterward. (The Ready to Ride Safety Checklist should ask you to confirm this before your trip starts.)

Uber also announced this spring that it allocated $50 million to supplying drivers with masks, disinfectant sprays/wipes, hand sanitizer, and gloves. That means your rides will hopefully have sanitizer and wipes in the back seat for convenient use.

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Since proper air circulation helps dramatically reduce the transmission of a virus, the CDC has also encouraged people to “increase ventilation by opening windows,” while at home. So rolling down the windows, when possible, when riding in the close quarters of a car follows the same logic. Keep the windows of your Uber open during your trip for better circulation. 

As awkward as it may feel, distance between people remains key. Uber recommends passengers avoid taking the front seat to provide enough space between them and the driver (and peace of mind for both). An easy way to make sure the front seat can stay safely empty: limit to no more than three people per UberX and Comfort, and no more than five per UberXL.

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It’s nice to get a helping hand with your bags, but these are exceptional times. If you can, lift and load your own belongings to reduce the risk of exposure for both you and your driver.

Finally, always follow local guidelines, and don't leave home to travel—even via Uber—if you're sick or have been exposed to someone who's sick.

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