Uber may suspend driver and rider accounts if they have coronavirus

Drivers will receive financial assistance for up to 14 days.


Uber has announced a new coronavirus policy, including the ability to suspend accounts for drivers and riders who have been diagnosed with the virus. Drivers or delivery persons diagnosed with coronavirus, or who've been asked to self-isolate, will receive financial assistance from the company — a refreshing development in Uber not screwing over its "contractors."

Lack of financial aid can lead an employee to continue working while sick, a brutal reality of capitalism highlighted by the world health crisis.

They may know when you're sick — Uber can obtain information on drivers and riders' status from public health authorities, according to a statement provided to CNET. Notifications will be processed through Uber's online portal, which is also used for law enforcement requests.

"We're also consulting with an epidemiologist to make sure our efforts as a company are grounded in medical advice," Uber said in announcing the new policy.

Last month, 240 user accounts in Mexico were suspended after two drivers came in contact with a rider suspected of having coronavirus. A London-based driver's account was also suspended after she had been diagnosed with the virus.

Other measures — The company is working with manufacturers and distributers to source cleaning products for the drivers while prioritizing cities most in need. In New York, the state is working to produce its own hand sanitizer because of shortages and price gouging.

For delivery, Uber is also reminding customers that they can add notes to their orders indicating they'd like their food to be left at the door — limiting exposure to both drivers and customers.

All things considered, it's a pretty good policy. It's not often that the company is on the receiving end of praise, but it's handling a deadly virus fairly well.