Why are Uber drivers REFUSING to wear masks? Passengers who are subject to a ‘no mask, no ride’ rule reveal they’ve been in multiple cars where the driver hasn’t worn a ‘mandatory’ face covering
- UK Uber drivers and passengers ordered to wear face coverings from June 15
- Numerous passengers have since taken to Twitter saying drivers had no PPE
- Julia Hartley-Brewer says she took three Ubers in a day and one driver had mask
- Others tweeted they’d experienced the same with Addison Lee and Ola cabs
Concerned Uber passengers subjected to a ‘no mask, no ride’ rule are claiming they have been in cars where the driver hasn’t worn adequate PPE.
The company announced on June 12 that from June 15, all drivers and passengers across the UK must wear face coverings during journeys, in line with government policy, to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Drivers in London are required to submit a photograph of themselves to verify they are following the new rule before they can begin working their shift, while passengers and drivers are allowed to cancel a trip without financial penalty if the other party is not wearing a face covering.
An Uber spokeswoman told FEMAIL that ‘to help protect the health and safety of everyone who uses the app, face coverings or masks are mandatory for anyone riding or driving with Uber. Any driver found to be ignoring this requirement risks losing access to the Uber app’.
Despite this, numerous passengers have taken to Twitter to report theirs didn’t take the advised precautions.
Uber announced on June 12 that from June 15, all drivers and passengers across the UK must wear face coverings during journeys, in line with government policy, to stop the spread of coronavirus (pictured: stock image)
This week broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer claimed she took three cars in one day and only one of her drivers was wearing PPE.
The TalkRadio host, 52, from Birmingham but based in London, tweeted on Sunday: ‘I’ve taken three Ubers today and two of the drivers weren’t wearing face masks when we got in the cars.
‘Cab driving is among the highest risk occupations for coronavirus – so why not? If we all abide by these simple rules, we’ll ALL be safer. This is really not complicated.’
She followed up with: ‘FYI, I asked both of them to put their masks on. Which they did. It why wait to be asked when they, sitting in front of me, are more at risk than I am, when I’m wearing a sodding mask?
This week broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer claimed she took three cars in one day and only one of her drivers was wearing PPE
The TalkRadio host, 52, from Birmingham but based in London, tweeted on Sunday: ‘I’ve taken three Ubers today and two of the drivers weren’t wearing face masks when we got in the cars’
‘It’s a small point but one worth making: @Uber *require* all drivers and passengers to wear face masks as a condition of use. I am happy to obey their rules to use their service to help keep their drivers safe. Why aren’t their drivers as keen to protect themselves?’
It’s a question other users of the minicab service have also asked. Alex Szabo, from London, complained to the company in a tweet on June 25.
He wrote: ‘I had a journey yesterday and even though your newsletters and apps rave about masks and safety your driver did not wear a mask. I realise they are self-employed but they represent your own company!’
Liz Palmer, from Birmingham, also took to social media to call out the firm, tweeting on June 17 in response to a post by Uber stating its new rules: ‘Have you told your drivers that masks are compulsory?
A London taxi driver tweeted a photo of what he claimed to be an Uber vehicle where the driver wasn’t wearing a mask
Shockingly, Twitter user Michael Afemare, of London, claimed he jumped in an Uber on June 27 wearing a mask, but his driver’s was on the passenger seat. He said: ‘I asked shouldn’t he be wearing it? He reluctantly put it on incorrectly with immense sarcasm’
‘I cancelled two Ubers this eve because neither were wearing masks. I was wearing mask and gloves to help protect them and other passengers – I expect the same courtesy.’
In the same thread, Alex, from Hertfordshire, replied: ‘What about the Uber I just got in, who is wearing no mask?’
Shockingly, Twitter user Michael Afemare, of London, claimed he jumped in an Uber on June 27 wearing a mask, but his driver’s was on the passenger seat. He said: ‘I asked shouldn’t he be wearing it? He reluctantly put it on incorrectly with immense sarcasm.
Numerous Uber users tweeted that their drivers hadn’t worn masks on their journey, meaning they felt unsafe
‘My driver had a cough. The windows were closed and locked. He refused to let me open my window because it was raining. He broke all of the safety protocols you have in place to keep everyone safe. I’m honestly baffled and disappointed.’
On June 22, Lyndsay Marchand, from Sutton, tweeted: ‘@Uber so, face masks mandatory? Not for my driver on Saturday who picked me up, no mask, and his WIFE sitting in the front seat.
‘Said he couldn’t wear a mask because of his beard. I’ve been socially distancing and wearing masks for weeks. If I catch Covid I’ll know from where.’
In response to the announcement that face coverings would be mandatory on June 12, another Twitter user who goes by the name Lord Moai tweeted: ‘What about your drivers? Especially @ubereats drivers. All of them with no face masks as it is not mandatory for them. Hard to make mandatory something to the public and not to your own people.’
And it seems the issue isn’t unique to Uber. A London taxi driver who tweets under the username @glenda_hoddle claimed to have seen ‘scores’ of private hire drivers from the likes of Ola cabs and Kapten ‘not wearing masks’.
And it seems the issue isn’t unique to Uber. A London taxi driver who tweets under the username @glenda_hoddle claimed to have seen ‘scores’ of private hire drivers from the likes of Uber, Ola cabs and Kapten ‘not wearing masks’
They tweeted on June 25: ‘You need to tell your drivers to wear face masks properly and make sure passengers wear theirs too.’
The following day they tweeted a photo of a cab, believed to be an Uber, with a driver no wearing a mask on the Essex Road.
Twitter user Aimee, from London, claimed she took two Addison Lee taxis on June 30, but neither of her drivers had masks on.
Twitter user Aimee, from London, claimed she took two Addison Lee taxis on June 30, but neither of her drivers had masks on
She asked: ‘So is there some rule that passengers have to wear masks in taxis but drivers don’t?’ In response, Hannah Wright, from London, tweeted: ‘Yah I had this! I think surely both should be wearing?’
According to its website, Addison Lee is asking that all passengers wear a face covering when they travel. Passengers with a respiratory condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering, children under three and people with disabilities are exempt.
It states: ‘Our policy is to provide drivers with as much equipment as they require to feel safe, remain protected and keep our passengers safe, but (as a minimum) we provide our drivers every week, with five pairs of protective gloves, five face masks and antibacterial hand sanitiser.’
It does not state that it is mandatory for drivers to wear masks. Its ‘guidance’ is that all taxi and private hire (TPH) drivers should wear a face covering at all times when in a taxi or private hire vehicle.
Femail has reached out to Ola and Addison Lee for comment.
What are the rules regarding PPE in taxis and minicabs in the UK?
The latest Government advice is that, although face coverings are unlikely to prevent you from getting the virus, they could help prevent you from giving it to others.
Face coverings are particularly important where 2m social distancing is hard to maintain.
From 15 June 2020, it is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling in England on a bus or coach, train or tram, ferry or hovercraft or other vessel, aircraft or cable car.
If you do not wear a face covering you will be breaking the law and could be fined £100, or £50 if you pay the fine within 14 days. A face covering is a covering of any type which covers your nose and mouth.
Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or equality reasons. Some transport staff may not wear a face covering if it is not required for their job.
You should also wear a face covering in other enclosed spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. For example, at stations, interchanges, ports and airports and in taxis and private hire vehicles. A taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you do not wear a face covering.
In London, all taxi and private hire companies and drivers are being asked by Transport for London to put protective measures in place including ensuring face coverings are worn by drivers.
Uber says: ‘To help protect the health and safety of everyone, face coverings or masks are mandatory for anyone riding or driving with Uber. This is subject to exemptions such as age, medical condition and/or disability.’
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