Uber said today it was piloting the installation of screens in 400 cars to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Uber is working with AA to install the partitions in 400 cars in Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham.
It is also working with Unilever to distribute hygiene kits to Uber drivers in the UK.
Uber said it would distribute 2.2m masks to drivers and couriers in addition to the 1.1m that have already been sent.
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe, said: “The safety of the riders and drivers who use the Uber app is our number one priority. For weeks we’ve been urging people to stay home and make essential trips only.
“As people start to think about moving again, we hope our pilot in the north east of England will help bring about a greater understanding of how to get people from A to B as safely as possible.”
Rival taxi operator Addison Lee said yesterday it would install partition screens across its fleet from next week.
This comes on top of existing safety measures, which include providing drivers with protective equipment such as masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and disinfectant.
Addison Lee chief executive Liam Griffin said: “The safety of our drivers and our passengers is our biggest priority. We know there is significant demand from drivers, passengers, businesses and the general public for more to be done to make transport cleaner and safer as we go back to work – including calls for the introduction of partition screens into private hire vehicles.
“That’s why we have taken the decision to begin rolling out the installation of safety screens between drivers and passenger seats.”