Airbnb announced a new mandate requiring that all hosts and guests follow strict COVID-19 safety practices — here’s what that means and how it works

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According to experts, Airbnb can be safer than hotels during the novel coronavirus because private vacation rentals eliminate most in-person interactions.
However, travelers might have concerns about safety considering everything from kitchen utensils to bed linens were used by previous guests.

In response, Airbnb debuted the Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, a set of guidelines developed with leading experts in hospitality and medical hygiene.
Since the program’s launch, nearly 1.5 million listings have enrolled. Now, Airbnb is requiring all hosts and guests to commit to new, official COVID-19 safety practices.
Read more: Everything to know about vacation rentals, COVID-19 safety, and the best places in the US

In response to the global pandemic, hospitality businesses of all kinds scrambled to initiate and publicize new cleaning policies that could reassure — and lure — would-be travelers. 

For the popular home rental platform Airbnb, that meant an expansive, multi-tier Enhanced Cleaning Initiative that overhauled host cleaning protocols and promised to make participating listings transparent for travelers.

The new policies were rolled out in June and included strict guidelines for cleaning and sanitization developed with guidance from experts in hospitality and medical hygiene, including former US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, which earned the Safe Travel stamp from the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) for meeting their guidelines.

Since the launch of the program, hosts have enrolled nearly 1.5 million listings in the Enhanced Clean program. According to Airbnb, homes enrolled in the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol are among the most popular listings on the site and experience three times more bookings on average than other listings.

Now, Airbnb has expanded its policies to require that all hosts and guests commit to following Airbnb’s COVID-19 safety practices. This includes wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and, for hosts and their teams, abiding by a five-step enhanced cleaning process. Additionally, all hosts must commit to implementing Airbnb’s five-step enhanced cleaning process by November 20.

Listings that previously committed to the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol displayed an accompanying badge on their profile indicating they had taken stringent extra safety and sanitization measures. Those hosts will keep their badge. Additionally, hosts still have the option to add a “booking buffer” by manually blocking their calendars between stays and stating this in their listing description. 

Below, we break down Airbnb’s policies to help identify what each program and badge means. Do note that once this new policy takes effect, however, there will be a special callout on a listing page for hosts to attest to the five-step cleaning process. 

These measures are all intended to quell the fears of on-the-fence travelers, who may book easier knowing that infectious disease experts generally consider private home rentals such as Airbnb to be a safe bet (safer than hotels, in fact). This is because, in a private vacation rental, there …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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