Move comes day after federal judge tosses Biden administration’s transportation mask mandate
Uber and Lyft drivers and passengers in the U.S. will no longer have to wear masks when using the ride hailing service, the companies separately announced on Tuesday.
The lifting of the mask mandate comes after the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention dropped its order requiring masks be worn when using ridesharing platforms.
“The CDC order requiring masks while using rideshare platforms such as Uber is no longer in effect, and we’ve revised our COVID-19 mask and front-seat policies accordingly,” Uber wrote in an email to its users.
Lyft, meanwhile, said in a blog post that wearing a mask will be optional when using the service and that not wearing a mask will no longer be an available reason for a driver or passenger to cancel a ride.
“We know that everyone has different comfort levels, and anyone who wants to continue wearing a mask is encouraged to do so,” Lyft said.
In addition to lifting their mask mandates, Lyft and Uber will also allow passengers to ride in the passenger seat of the car, however the latter is still advising riders to prioritize remaining the back seat in leu of needing the space.
The changes come only a day after the Biden administrations federal transportation mask mandate was tossed out by a federal judge in Florida.
A number of major airlines in the U.S. have also made masks optional since the federal mandate was dropped, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and JetBlue.
The move was not necessarily expected and may have come to a surprise to many, with the federal transportation mask mandate recently extended into May.
In issuing its new guidance, Delta warned passengers that they “may experience inconsistent enforcement during the next 24 hours as this news is more broadly communicated.”
“Given the unexpected nature of this announcement, please be aware that customers, airline employees and federal agency employees — such as TSA — may be receiving this information at different times,” the airline said.