Uber drops mask mandate in most of Canada today

Uber Canada is dropping the mask mandate for drivers and passengers on Friday. As Laura Krause reports, not everyone is on board.

Passengers and drivers across most of Canada are no longer required to wear a mask in an Uber.

As of Friday, Uber Canada’s mask mandate has been lifted in nearly all provinces — mask rules for customers and drivers will remain in effect in the province of Quebec — though the company says it still strongly recommends riders wear a mask.

“As per Health Canada’s advice, we still strongly recommend wearing a mask depending on personal risk factors and infection rates in your area,” a spokesperson for the company told CityNews earlier this week.

Drivers in the rest of the country will also have the option of requiring passengers to wear a face covering and have the power to revoke a trip if the rider declines to wear one. The company is urging customers to be considerate if a driver requests they wear a mask.

Customers are also no longer required to only sit in the back seat during their ride, but the company is asking people to refrain from the front seat unless it is required by the size of their group.

Last month, Uber Canada told CityNews that mask requirements in its rideshare vehicles would correspond to the province’s lifting of mandates in specific settings and eventually be made optional, but not immediately.


Mask mandates remain for Lyft, Beck Taxi

Lyft, Uber’s competitor, says it will continue requiring drivers and passengers in Canada to wear masks for the time being.

Beck Taxi has also announced it is keeping its mask mandate in place until further notice.

“We know that many, including the most vulnerable, rely on the safety and security of for-hire services like ours and drivers depend on us to make informed decisions when it comes to masking policies,” a Beck Taxi spokesperson told CityNews.

Ontario’s Medical Officer of Health Kieran Moore has also indicated mask mandates on public transit and in high-risk settings could continue past April 27 when they are expected to be lifted.

Mayor John Tory told Breakfast Television he is in support of continuing the mask mandate. “I wish they would just get on the saying that’s what’s going to happen because Dr. Moore hinted at it.”

“I just think that most people accept the fact that wearing a mask is a prudent thing to do. You see very good compliance with it on the TTC,” added Tory. “There was maybe a bit of a dip when people were confused about the rules but I think people are back up wearing the masks again.”

As COVID-19 indicators continue to increase in most provinces, the federal government annonunced they had no plans to remove mask mandates on airplanes.

The mask mandate for flights and public transit in the U.S. was struck down by a federal court judge on Monday.

With files from Lucas Casaletto and Meredith Bond of CityNews

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