As all aspects of the travel industry are rolling out new protocols to keep travelers safe amid the coronavirus pandemic, Lyft is no exception with its new Health Safety Program. Announced on Thursday, the ride-sharing app is not only requiring both drivers and riders to wear masks, but they are also requiring both parties to agree to a Personal Health Certification. The protocol mandates riders and drivers to disclose if they have or have symptoms of coronavirus and allow windows to be open when possible. Passengers also must agree to not ride in the front seat in order to maintain social distancing. “With guidance from the CDC, Public Health Agency of Canada, WHO, and local officials, Lyft is taking action to build products and implement policies that help keep riders and drivers safe, as well as empower our community to protect themselves and those around them,” VP of Global Operations and Head of Lyft’s COVID-19 Response Task Force, Angie Westbrock, said in a statement. “We want these new initiatives to have a meaningful impact and set a new standard for rideshare health safety.” Lyft’s new rules and information will be accessible through the app. They are also providing cleaning supplies to drivers. In March, Uber and Lyft introduced new policies to protect riders and drivers against COVID-19. If a driver or rider is confirmed to have the virus, their account will be suspended for 14 days. Lyft’s new protocol is in alignment with the CDC’s guidance for ride-share services during the COVID-19 pandemic which instructs riders to avoid “pooling” — an option that thas since been suspended by Uber and Lyft. Riders should also consider handling their own luggage and belongings when getting into and out of the vehicle. If a driver has placed items in the back of the car like magazines or water bottles, passengers should avoid contact. And be sure to disinfect your hands before getting into the car and again when you leave. More than any other safety measure, Uber is urging riders to continue to stay home, if they can. “This will help limit the spread of the virus and flatten the curve,” Uber told passengers on its website. “Let’s help keep drivers safe and ensure that rides are available for those who need them.” *BY CAILEY RIZZO via Travel and Leisure* 

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