SAN FRANCISCO (WXIN) – Masks are no longer required for Uber riders and drivers, according to a mass email sent out by the ride-sharing company Tuesday.
The move follows a federal judge striking down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal transportation mandate, which required masks while flying and using other means of public transportation in the United States, including ride-sharing services like Uber.
Uber users received an email Tuesday morning stating, “The CDC order requiring masks while using rideshare platforms such as Uber is no longer in effect, and we’ve revised our COVID-19 mask and front-seat policies accordingly.”
The revised front-seat policy means riders can sit in the front seat if they are part of a large group.
Uber joins several airlines, including Delta, American, Spirit, Southwest and United, in publicly announcing they will no longer enforce masks.
The Transportation Security Administration has also said it would no longer enforce the mandate following the judge’s ruling.
Fellow ridesharing company Lyft has not made an announcement as of early Tuesday.
The decision by US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, said the CDC failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures that left it fatally flawed.
In her 59-page ruling, Mizelle said the only remedy was to vacate the rule entirely across the country because it would be impossible to end it for the limited group of people who objected in the lawsuit.
The judge said “a limited remedy would be no remedy at all” and courts have full authority to make a decision such as this – even if the CDC’s goals in fighting the virus are laudable.
The Justice Department declined to comment when asked if it would seek an emergency stay to block the judge’s order. The CDC also declined to comment.
The White House said the court ruling means that, for now, the mask order “is not in effect at this time.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.