Uber and Lyft will no longer require masks for US riders and drivers

By Brian Fung, CNN Business

(CNN) -- Face masks are now optional for Uber and Lyft riders and drivers in the United States, the ride-hailing companies said Tuesday, shortly after several major airlines announced a similar change in policy.

"The CDC order requiring masks while using rideshare platforms such as Uber is no longer in effect, and we've revised our COVID-19 mask and front-seat policies accordingly," Uber wrote in emails to users on Tuesday.

Uber will no longer require riders to sit in the back seats of vehicles, but asked riders to refrain from using the front seats unless they are traveling as part of a large group. Lyft passengers are also again permitted to sit in front seats, the company said in a blog post.

"We know that everyone has different comfort levels, and anyone who wants to continue wearing a mask is encouraged to do so," Lyft said in the post.

"While riders and drivers can always cancel any ride they don't wish to take, health safety reasons -- like not wearing a mask -- will no longer appear as cancellation options in the app," Lyft added.

The changes come one day after a federal judge struck down the Biden administration's mask mandate for airplanes and other public transport methods.

Masks may still be required by law in some jurisdictions, Uber's email and Lyft's blog post said, and in those areas the local regulations will apply.

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