A Lyft spokesperson also told Engadget that it had “decided to provide funds to drivers infected or quarantined by a public health authority.”
There may be broader industry plans afoot, however. Wall Street Journal sources say Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates are among those discussing a fund to compensate drivers affected by the virus. The details of how it would work aren’t clear, but the group is reportedly poised to make a decision in the “coming days.”
While this could be good news for drivers worried that they might get sick, the payouts won’t fully address concerns about pay. Ridesharing drivers and couriers typically don’t make much money from their work, making them particularly sensitive to even brief interruptions — compensating them after the fact could still lead to financial hardship. They may be tempted to keep working even when they show symptoms of a possible infection. And of course, compensation for infections won’t offset lost business from declines in tourism and other customers staying home due to coronavirus concerns.