Uber will require drivers and riders to wear face masks

The new policy is expected to roll out in the coming weeks.

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Uber drivers have demanded face masks and other protective gear from the company.

Angela Lang/CNET

As parts of the country prepare to ease coronavirus lockdowns, Uber will require riders and drivers in the US to wear face masks or other face coverings as it again ramps up its core ride-hailing business. The new policy will be rolled out over the "coming weeks," according to a report Sunday by CNN Business.  

Uber on Monday confirmed the report, adding that it would communicate updates directly to users when ready. 

"As countries reopen, Uber is focused on safety and proceeding with caution," said an Uber spokesperson in an emailed statement on Monday. "Today, we continue to ask riders to stay home if they can, while shipping safety supplies to drivers who are providing essential trips. At the same time, our teams are preparing for the next phase of recovery, where we will all have a role to play." 

Uber is also working on technology to detect whether drivers are wearing a face masks, and it's looking into ways to hold riders accountable, according to CNN Business. 

Uber and Lyft drivers are considered essential workers, which means they can continue to work as the virus spreads. Many drivers say they've been hit hard, seeing their earnings plummet or by getting infected with the virus. In April, Uber said it was shipping tens of millions of face masks to drivers, prioritizing full-time drivers working in the cities hit hardest by the novel coronavirus, like New York and Los Angeles.

Watch this: Uber, Lyft drivers demand protective gear during coronavirus pandemic