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Eye of Riyadh
Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Wednesday 24 June, 2020 4:49 am |
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Uber rolls out enhanced safety measures amid Covid-19 outbreak

As governments across the region begin to ease off lockdown and work places slowly resume operations, Uber is taking unprecedented safety measures to help everyone who uses its app stay safe and healthy. 

 

In countries where face coverings are mandatory like Saudi Arabia, drivers can cancel the ride if a rider isn’t wearing a mask without incurring a penalty. Drivers will also be asked to confirm if they have taken additional safety measures such as regularly sanitising their car and making hand sanitizer available for their riders.

 

Similarly, riders will be required to take safety precautions like washing their hands before getting in the car, sitting in the backseat and opening windows for ventilation.

 

Globally, Uber is investing $50 million to help ensure every driver and courier has access to personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitising supplies they need to work more safely on the Uber app. This includes providing masks to drivers across the MENA region and reimbursing eligible drivers and couriers for the one-time purchase of a sanitizer or disinfectant product of their choice up to a maximum amount which is defined for each country. So far, Uber has provided or reimbursed over 4500 hand sanitisers, cleaning sprays and disinfectant wipes to drivers and couriers in MENA. It is also partnering with Unilever to distribute hygiene kits to drivers and couriers across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

 

Abdellatif Waked, Director and General Manager at Uber MENA said: “Governments as well as the private sector across the globe are continually working to assess and adapt a world post the COVID-19 pandemic. At Uber, we put safety at the heart of everything we do and we believe technology can make travel safer than ever before. Now, as cities begin to reopen, we want to ensure we’re using the scale and influence of our platform to proactively complement the government’s efforts to help everyone stay safe and healthy.”

 

Recently, Uber also announced the launch of Uber Medics in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as part of its global commitment to Move What Matters, providing healthcare workers with discounted trips to and from their workplaces. 

 

Other safety initiatives announced in light of Covid-19 include:

  • New health and hygiene feedback system: Uber is adding new options for feedback in the app, including if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask. Anyone who is repeatedly flagged for violating the new safety policies risks losing access to Uber’s apps. 
  • Safety education materials: Working with the World Health Organization and the latest public health advice, Uber has compiled safety tips and recommendations specifically geared toward ridesharing. This will be used to educate riders and drivers when we learn of unsafe behavior. 
  • Financial Compensation: Financial assistance for up to 14 days to any driver or who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is individually asked to self-isolate by a public health authority while their account is on hold.

 

These new safety measures will stay in effect until the end of June, when they will be reviewed based on the latest official health guidance. 

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