SINGAPORE – A report on CNA shared that the multi-hailing transport company Grab announced on Tuesday (June 2) that they are no longer allowing passengers to sit beside the driver in the front seat. This new rule comes as the company works to lessen the chances of Covid-19 transmissions.
These new measures come as Singapore is slowly entering its first phase of easing up on circuit breaker restrictions, with a number of businesses reopening, as well as students heading back to school.
In a press release, the company shared that they plan to put these new safety measures, called GrabProtect, in place by the end of June.
Before delivery personnel, drivers and passengers can either deliver orders, accept passengers, or book a ride, they will all be required to fill out both a hygiene declaration and online health form.
For delivery personnel and drivers, after they accomplish their forms and declarations, they will also be asked to take a selfie wearing a face mask. At the moment, these health declarations and forms will only need to be filled out daily.
According to Grab’s regional head of operations, Mr Russell Cohen, “The Covid-19 pandemic has created greater awareness of safety and hygiene across all industries.”
“Safety has always been a core value at Grab and with programmes like GrabProtect, we are setting a higher bar for hygiene standards in ride-hailing.” he added.
Mr Cohen also said, “Together with our driver partners, we can help enforce new hygiene habits even before the ride starts.”
In order to protect both the drivers and passengers, either party will be allowed to cancel a booking should one show up without a mask, without being charged a cancellation fee, as long as they put in the cancellation reason of the app “driver/passenger did not wear a mask.” A ride can also be cancelled if either driver or passenger seems unwell.
Grab management has also cited that there will be no penalties for these two types of cancellations. The Grab app will also have a new feature that allows either party to give feedback after every ride. Grab further stipulated, “Grab will take the necessary actions, including the suspension of driver-partners’ and passengers’ ride-hailing accounts, to protect the safety and well-being of its users.”
The CNA article shared that Grab also conducted a survey in Southeast Asia recently to find out what customers believe are the top three important preventive measures to combat the spread of Covid-19. These are “wearing masks, providing hand sanitisers in vehicles and disinfecting car surfaces before every ride.”
Grab also said that it will look into finding discounted options for hygiene products by looking into possible partnerships with suppliers and manufacturers to make it cheaper for their driver and delivery partners to buy supplies.
The company also shared, “Grab will continue to evaluate its measures and policies, and adapt as the situation evolves,’” adding “Our users can expect more information on these measures through in-app updates over the next few weeks.” -/TISG
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