Lyft said on Tuesday that it was lifting its masking requirements in the United States, joining many airlines and other transportation companies relaxing Covid-19 rules after a federal judge overturned a government mandate that people keep their faces covered on public transportation.
The company said in a release that masks were now optional “for everyone in the car,” and that passengers were no longer required to sit in the back seat. Lyft also said it would no longer require car windows to be open.
Uber made a similar announcement earlier on Tuesday, saying it would stop requiring riders and drivers in the United States to wear masks. Both companies had said local regulations would supersede their own rules.
On Monday, major airlines lifted mask rules after a federal judge in Florida ruled that travelers no longer had to wear masks on airplanes, trains and other modes of public transit. The ruling left it up to individual airlines and local transit agencies to decide what to do.
New York City’s taxi and ride-hailing regulator said on Tuesday that it would still require masks for drivers and riders in taxis and Uber and Lyft vehicles.
Lyft still encouraged riders with the coronavirus or related symptoms to stay home, and Uber reminded passengers in its announcement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommended masks for people with risk factors or people living in areas with high transmission rates.
Uber’s mask policies have followed guidelines of the countries where it operates. Britain and the Netherlands, for example, have stopped requiring masks.
While cases have been rising in the United States and elsewhere, hospitalizations have not been increasing to the same levels, stoking optimism in many countries that the worst of the pandemic has passed.