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Postmates says it will start ‘non-contact’ meal deliveries during the coronavirus outbreak

Postmates says it will start ‘non-contact’ meal deliveries during the coronavirus outbreak

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The on-demand food delivery industry marches on

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Image: Postmates

Food delivery platform Postmates is starting what the company is calling a “non-contact delivery” initiative designed to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus when its contract workers are delivering ordered meals and other goods.

The move was spotted by Recode’s Rani Molla and The Verge has confirmed it is in effect starting today. Postmates users who now open the app should see a notice about the non-contact deliveries, which then prompts users to input a drop-off option like “leave at the door.” The company also emailed registered users about the new option. It is not mandatory.

“Today, we’re introducing Dropoff Options, which will give our customers the ability to specify how they’d like to receive deliveries,” reads a new blog post from the company published Friday. “Customers can choose to meet their Postmate at the door, as they have before, meet curbside, or go non-contact and have deliveries left at the door.” Postmates says you can add the non-contact delivery option during checkout if you skipped the prompt when first opening the app today.

Postmates is far from the only delivery company to begin taking more serious measures to protect both public health and the well-being of its customers and contractors. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Ele.me subsidiary and and food delivery platform Meituan Dianping, both of which dominate the Chinese food delivery market, have implemented similar non-contact delivery options amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country, Bloomberg reports. That’s involved secure drop off and pickup locations to avoid putting delivery workers and customers in direct physical contact. Both are also asking delivery workers — many of which use bicycles, motorcycles, and scooters — to wear masks, too.

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