Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft removed mask requirements on riders and drivers on Tuesday following a federal ruling striking down the mandate.

"You can now ride without a mask and use the front seat if you need to," Uber announced on Twitter.

"While mask usage is still recommended, we've updated our Covid safety policies. Let's move forward, safely together."

Uber's rival, Lyft, also said it was making masks optional.

Uber and Lyft
Uber and Lyft both removed mask requirements following a federal ruling striking down the mandate Photo: AFP / Robyn Beck

The company will also remove a restriction on riders in the front seat, and will no longer include health safety reasons -- such as not wearing a mask -- as a reason to cancel a ride, Lyft said.

"We know that everyone has different comfort levels, and anyone who wants to continue wearing a mask is encouraged to do so," Lyft said in a blog post.

On Monday, US federal judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle said the mask mandate exceeds the statutory authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Several major carriers, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, dropped mask mandates on domestic flights and some international flights following the ruling.

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