Uber to drop mask requirement later this week as one Toronto taxi company vows to keep it in place

Uber Canada has announced that it will no longer require riders to wear masks as of later this week but at least one Toronto taxi company is keeping the requirement in place for the time being.

A spokesperson for Uber told CP24 that customers outside of Quebec will no longer be required to wear masks when using the ridesharing service as of April 22.

The spokesperson, however, said that drivers will still be permitted to require that riders wear masks and can cancel a trip “for safety reasons” if they refuse.

“We still strongly recommend wearing a mask depending on personal risk factors and infection rates in your area,” the spokesperson said.

Uber has required that all passengers wear masks since May, 2020 but with many provinces now having removed mask requirements for most settings, the ridesharing company is following suit.

In Ontario masks do continue to be mandatory in a number of high-risk settings, including in hospitals, long-term care homes and on public transit.

Toronto’s biggest taxi company, Beck Taxi, has also said that it will continue to require that all passengers and drivers wear masks for the time being.

“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 decision when it comes to masking policies,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter on Tuesday. “We will continue (to require masks), as we do know that the inside of a vehicle does not allow six feet of distance between riders and drivers, which makes it a high-risk setting. We see this as a smart health and safety policy and as a policy that hopefully lends itself to keeping our economy open for business.”

While Uber will drop its mask requirement as of April 22, its competitor Lyft has told CTV News that its mandatory mask policy remains in effect.