By  Jemima Skelley

While we’re all trying to do everything we can to keep ourselves and our community safe during the coronavirus, sometimes it’s really hard to know what’s fine and what’s not.

For example: running outside? That’s ok. Getting your nails done? Hmm, maybe not. But what about catching an Uber?

Health organisations are recommending people stay indoors when possible, but some people still have to go to work, go to the grocery store, or run errands for vulnerable family members. The government has warned against using public transport, so for some, ride-share apps are the best option.

Most companies, like Uber, Ola, and DiDi have introduced measures to help keep passengers safe. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to be responsible for your own health. Wash or sanitise your hands before and after being in a ride-share car, and sit in the back seat instead of the front in order to minimise contact with your driver. It’s probably best to avoid Uber Pool or other multi-person rides.

Uber is urging any drivers who feel unwell to remove themselves from the app. They’re also working to provide drivers with disinfectant and cleaning supplies to ensure their cars meet a high level of cleanliness to keep riders safe. They’ve also encouraged UberEats drivers to leave food deliveries on peoples’ doorsteps, rather than handing them over face to face.

Relatively new ride-share app DiDi has introduced a feature to help support drivers who might be struggling with the lower income associated with fewer passengers out in public. From Monday, drivers will receive 95 per cent of every fare they complete, with the company only taking a five per cent cut.

For comparison, Uber drivers in Australia usually receive about three-quarters of their fares, with the company taking 27.5 per cent.

DiDi also pledged $10 million USD to aid drivers who test positive for COVID-19 or are forced to self-isolate by official organisations. They will provide drivers with a one-off payment to help them cover living costs while unable to work.

Uber has announced a similar initiative in Australia, giving financial assistance to any existing Uber drivers who are unable to work due to quarantine or self-isolation reasons.

Ride-share companies are doing their bit to ensure you stay healthy if you need to use their service. So long as you keep yourself clean and take necessary precautions, you can keep using the apps without any worry.