Eyeing June 1 return, GrabCar intros new hygiene protocols

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Ride-hailing firm Grab Philippines is eyeing the resumption of its GrabCar service by June 1 by introducing new safety and hygiene standards to minimize risks of the spread of Covid-19.

The company said it is also implementing GrabProtect, a set of initiatives and features that include online health and hygiene checklist, a mask selfie verification tool, safety and hygiene certification, hygiene kits, and mandatory deep disinfection of vehicles.

  1. Following the government’s mandate for cashless payments on all public transportation, Grab’s mobility service offerings will be simplified to either:
    • GrabCar (GrabPay) — for all transactions using GrabPay as the payment option, and
    • GrabCar (credit/debit card) — for all transactions paid through credit or debit cards
  2. Each GrabCar will only have a maximum seating capacity of two passengers, and each will sit close to the windows at the back of the vehicle;
  3. Only public health vehicles are allowed to transport Covid-19 positive individuals;
  4. Driver-partners and passengers are required to wear face masks at all times;
  5. Driver-partners are required to keep their vehicles disinfected at all times, especially every end of the trip;
  6. Each vehicle is required to have a non-permeable acetate barrier installed between the passengers and the driver-partner;
  7. To aid in an effective contact-tracing procedure when deemed necessary, passengers are not allowed to book for others. They are required to show their booking code to their respective driver-partner before entering their assigned vehicle. However, exceptions will be made in specific cases of emergencies wherein the destination is a hospital and the account holder or companion was the one who made the booking.
  8. Driver-partners are required to open and close the doors for the passengers, passengers are not allowed to open the doors themselves;
  9. Eating and/or drinking is not allowed inside the car, and passengers are required to clean after themselves
  10. Every time a passenger books for a ride, the passenger will receive a notification via GrabChat reminding them of the proper safety and hygiene protocol during the ride.

Grab said it is also implementing GrabProtect to further raise existing standards on platform safety and hygiene:

  • Online health checklist

Grab driver- and delivery-partners have been submitting daily health declarations confirming they are well before starting their day with Grab. By the end of June, the Grab app will prompt passengers, drivers, and delivery-partners to complete the online health and hygiene checklist, confirming they do not exhibit any Covid-19 symptoms and have adopted the necessary safety and hygiene measures before they make a booking or start driving.

Drivers and passengers are strongly encouraged to submit feedback through Grab’s in-app Help Center should either party appear unwell. Individuals who have received more than one report about exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms will be advised to see a doctor and will have their Grab accounts temporarily put on hold until they receive medical clearance.

  • Wearing of face mask

Grab driver- and delivery-partners are required to wear a mask whenever they are on the Grab platform. The same policy will apply to passengers in countries where masking-up is compulsory in public spaces. Both drivers and passengers can cancel the booking without penalty before the ride commences, by selecting “driver/passenger did not wear a mask” as their cancellation reason, should either party show up without a mask on. Grab said it will investigate accounts that have received such feedback multiple times.

Grab’s new “mask selfie verification feature” will help verify that drivers and delivery-partners are wearing a mask before they start receiving bookings and orders.

  • Keeping surroundings clean for the next person

Grab drivers and delivery-partners are encouraged to carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant sprays with them at all times so that they can keep surfaces and hands clean after every booking. Grab has distributed over 4,000 bottles of hand sanitizers and disinfectant to its partners over the last few months.

  • Safety and Hygiene Certification for all driver-partners

Grab said it has instituted and mandated a rigorous safety and hygiene certification for all driver-partners who wish to ply the roads. In this training session, driver-partners are briefed on the mandatory temperature check, the existing government policies and public health safety standards, how to maintain sanitation and cleanliness in their vehicles, as well as implementing the contactless ride protocol.

After completing the Safety and Hygiene Certification, drivers will be provided with hygiene kits which are partially subsidized by Grab. Each hygiene kit will include a cloth face mask, surface disinfectant, and the non-permeable acetate barrier that they would need to install in their own vehicles.

  • Mandatory Deep Disinfection

On top of drivers disinfecting their vehicles after every trip, Grab said it will also require deep-disinfection of all the vehicles every other day. This will be done in partnership with select sanitation hubs who have deep-disinfection capability. Once cleaned, driver-partners are required to allow for the chemicals to dissipate prior to boarding any passenger. This layer of sanitation will ensure that all vehicles are safe and hygienic for public use.

  • Feedback mechanism

Grab said it will institute a feedback mechanism that would allow for both drivers and passengers to report to the Help Center, any incidents or violations which are counter to the safety and hygiene protocols.

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