Uber Canada will on Friday no longer require drivers or passengers to wear masks during rides in most of the country, though the ride-sharing company says it “still strongly” recommends them.
The decision, ending a policy in place since May 2020, was made to reflect changing public health guidelines, the company said Tuesday. Ontario and British Columbia ended their mask mandates for most public indoor spaces last month. Alberta and Saskatchewan dropped theirs in February.
“As we move forward, and mask guidance and COVID-19 protocols continue to evolve, we’re committed to maintaining policies that help everyone on our platform remain as safe as possible,” the company said in a statement.
Uber Canada will still require masks in Quebec, which earlier this month extended its mask mandate — initially set to expire in mid-April — as a new wave of COVID-19 spread.
In the rest of Canada, individual drivers can still require passengers to wear masks in the vehicle. They can also cancel a trip if the passenger refuses. Passengers can also cancel if they don’t want to wear a mask, or if they do but the driver does not.
Riders can also message drivers in advance through the app and ask them to wear a mask, an Uber spokesperson told CBC News.
Lyft, Uber’s competitor, told CBC News that it will continue requiring drivers and passengers in Canada to wear masks “for the time being.”
In the U.S., both Uber and Lyft said Tuesday they would lift their mask mandates. Passengers there can still cancel a ride if they wish, but might get hit with a cancellation fee.