CAPE TOWN- Lockdown alert level 3 kicked in at the beginning of this month and has enabled the South African economy to reopen and allowed more sectors to go back to work. With more people able to commute once again, e-hailing services have adapted their safety features to ensure a safer experience for all riders and drivers.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced the lifting of the curfew from 1 June for minibus, metred and e-hailing taxi operators.
Making use of Covid-19 health and safety principals, Uber has reopened access to users for anytime of the day with caution and safety top of mind.
The e-hailing service has shared some tips on how to travel safely.
- Travelling terms: Practising social distancing remains critical to curb the spread of the coronavirus. That’s why non-essential traveling has been strongly discouraged. Traveling in an Uber or any private vehicle has been limited to 50% capacity and sitting at the back seat of the vehicle to limit close contact is crucial to limit the spread of Covid-19.
- Mask : All Uber riders, drivers and couriers will be required to wear a mask or face covering when taking a trip. As part of a new in-app safety checklist, before drivers and couriers go online, they will be asked to take a selfie to verify they are wearing a mask or face covering using new object recognition technology. Any driver or courier who is not wearing a mask or other face covering will not be able to go online.
- Check list ready: Drivers will be required to fill in a Safety Checklist which confirms that they’ve taken additional safety measures such as regularly sanitising their car and making hand sanitizer available for their riders. Riders will be required to take safety precautions like washing their hands before getting in the car.
- New feedback system: Any driver or rider who is not adhereing to the regulations such as not wearing a mask can flagged for violating the new safety policies and risks losing access to Uber’s apps.
- Get an extra hand: Vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with chronic health conditions, have been encouraged to remain at home. However, if travel is unavoidable, senior citizens and those with special needs have the option of getting around with Uber Assist which is specifically designed to assist those with access needs to move around with ease.
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