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Uber, Lyft drop mask mandate for passengers

Uber Lyft
Posted at 6:03 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 14:06:14-04

WACO, Texas — Passengers of riding sharing programs like Lyft and Uber can now ride mask-free after a federal judge ruled they can no longer be required on public transportation.

Even with cases of COVID-19 lower than they have been in months across the United States, Uber driver Oi Yann Tano told 25 News he's not happy with the change.

"I want to feel safe when I'm working," he said. "It's really a serious consideration for me to leave."

Tano has been driving for Uber for roughly nine months and while he loves his job, he said this could be enough for him to quit.

"As much as I care about the passenger, I also care about my health as well," Tano said. "It makes me feel uncomfortable the fact that the mandate is lifted."

Tano said he plans to still ask passengers to mask up in his vehicle and encourages Uber to support drivers who are uncomfortable with the change.

"They should listen more to their drivers and try to work on that to make them feel safe," he said.

McLennan County Health District Assistant Director Stephanie Alvey said they also still encourage people to wear a mask in rideshares.

"It's still recommended to wear a mask on public transit so just as an extra layer of precaution," she said. "I think that's one of those behaviors that brings us in close contact with a lot of people from a lot of different places, so our risk of exposure in those situations is higher."

She said even if others don't have one wearing a proper mask can still offer protection.

"Even if other people are not wearing it, an N95 will still protect you when you're wearing it as well as those around you," Alvey said.

The mandate drop is effective immediately.