Riders concerned some Uber drivers not wearing masks during pandemic

OTTAWA — The ride-sharing service Uber made wearing masks mandatory for all drivers and passengers earlier this week. Some passengers say drivers are not wearing them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abbie Gourgon thought she was making the right choice, “I don’t drive, so I thought an Uber would be a better option than the bus, given the current situation.”

She has been staying home as much as possible, “I had a medical appointment, otherwise I wouldn’t have been leaving the house – I took two different Ubers, one there, a different one back, and both drivers were not wearing masks.”

Tina Durocher had a similar experience, “I also called for an Uber, and right away I messaged the driver, asking if he’d be wearing a mask, and he proceeded to tell me – no.”

Both women took Ubers earlier this week, the same week that the ride-sharing service made masks mandatory for all passengers and drivers.

In a statement provided to CTV News, Uber writes:

“Before drivers are able to start accepting trips, they will be asked to take a selfie with a mask on… We are adding new options for feedback including if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask or face cover.”

Something that Rami Azzam does before starting up his day as an Uber driver in Ottawa,

“So the outline pops up on the screen actually has an outline of a mask – if you are not wearing your mask, it won’t allow you to take the picture.”

He also says that wearing a mask is important, “Most of the drivers I know will not drive without a mask.”

Azzam wears his mask, and insists that passengers do as well.

“The idea of the mask is you cannot adhere to the six-feet of physical distancing.”

Durocher didn’t feel comfortable getting into her Uber because the driver did not have a mask on,

“I cancelled the Uber, and proceeded to take a cab, because they have plexiglasses between the driver and the passenger.”

Canada’s chief public health officer recommended this week that all Canadians should wear a mask as an added layer of protection. Durocher agrees, “We all need to do our part to stop the spread.”

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