Uber introduces free rides to COVID-19 vaccine centres

Transport giant Uber has now joined the fight against COVID-19 by offering passengers free trips to UK vaccination centres.

Uber introduces free rides to COVID-19 vaccine centres
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Last week the government introduced seven vaccination hubs across the UK in an effort to afford as many people as possible the chance for their first dose. Now, it seems that Uber is making the vaccine even more accessible by providing free transport.

Uber covers vaccine trips

In line with the cost of the average fare, Uber has announced that they will be offering vaccine recipients up to £15 off their trip. All recipients will need to do is enter the discount code associated with the specific vaccination hub that they will be attending.

As the elderly and more vulnerable are also being prioritised in the rollout, Uber’s deal will also extend to wheelchair-accessible Uber Access as well as Uber Assist cars. The company's Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, Jamie Heywood, announced the news in a press statement:

It's vital that the most vulnerable people in our society are vaccinated against the virus as soon as possible, and we want to help remove any barriers that could prevent them from travelling safely to get their jab.

The only condition for the free rides is that they must start or end at one of the following approved locations:

  • Robertson House, Stevenage
  • Excel Centre (Nightingale), London
  • Centre for Life, Newcastle
  • Etihad Tennis and Football Centre, Manchester
  • Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey
  • Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol
  • Millennium Point, Birmingham

Uber is also working with AGE UK in order to identify where round trips may be needed so that the most vulnerable can have access to the vaccines. Director of Partnerships of the charity, Hannorah Lee stated:

We're extremely grateful to Uber for giving free journeys to Age UK, so that where possible, we can support our volunteers to help older people get to their appointments, and so they can provide any extra assistance if required. This will certainly help ensure that as many older people as possible are vaccinated.

What precautions does Uber take to limit the spread of COVID-19?

During the pandemic getting into a car with a stranger may seem like rather undesirable, however, Uber has a number of safety measures in place in order to make customer’s journeys as safe as possible.

Before accepting a journey drivers must take a selfie with their masks on as part of the mask verification process. Meanwhile, both drives and passengers will also have to complete a ‘ready to ride’ checklist to confirm that both parties have taken the appropriate safety precautions such as washing and sanitizing their hands as well as wearing a mask.

Additionally, Uber as partnered up with Unilever to supply their drivers with masks, hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes. Passengers will also no longer be able to ride up front with their drivers and are now only permitted to share an Uber with people in their bubbles.