Protecting yourself and your guests during flu season

Protecting yourself and your guests during flu season

Cleaning tips 1.jpeg


As you may know, flu season is in full force in many parts of the world, so we thought we’d take a moment to talk about some of the ways you can protect yourself and your guests from the health risks posed by the flu, common cold, and other illnesses. Here are a few important cleaning tips and hygiene recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)*:


  • Disinfect surfaces often, especially between stays. Pay extra attention to areas that are touched regularly, such as doorknobs, drawer pulls, the toilet flush lever, faucet handles, remote controls, and light switches.


  • For best results, let your cleaning solution stand. Wait 3-5 minutes before wiping a sprayed surface to give it time to really disinfect. When using antibacterial wipes, like for cleaning remote controls and other electronic items, you may need to use more than one wipe for the surface to remain wet long enough to properly disinfect.


  • Wash towels and linens regularly. And if possible, provide separate hand towels for each guest. You already know to launder towels and linens between stays. For longer-stay guests, you may want to wash linens and towels every couple of days. If you don’t have a way to easily do that, consider having enough supplies available so they can grab a fresh set.


  • Help guests prevent germs from spreading. You can start by stocking your space with plenty of tissue, disposable paper towels, hand soap, and hand sanitizer.


  • Protect yourself when cleaning. If you don’t use a professional cleaner, help guard against germs by wearing gloves, especially when handling trash, food scraps, and other waste. And remember to wash your hands when you’re done. If you can, consider swapping your waste bins for the hands-free variety.


  • Wash your hands regularly. We’re saying this one more time because it’s just that important. Make sure you’re using soap and warm water, and scrub for at least 20 seconds before you rinse. Regular hand washing is always a good idea, and it’s especially important if you host a private room or greet your guests in person.


We’d also like to acknowledge the impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is having on our global community of hosts and guests. You can find updates on our policies regarding the outbreak in the Help Center.


For more information on preventing the spread of seasonal flu and coronavirus, visit the CDC and WHO websites. We hope you find these tips useful and that you and your guests are staying healthy.


*This content is based on publicly available information from the CDC. The CDC does not endorse this content or Airbnb. Airbnb makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to this content provided for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

15 Replies 15
Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

Thanks @Airbnb  a tipple of brandy or a hot lemon and honey drink is also a very good preventative measure.


Rubbing Vicks Vapourub on the soles of one's feet and wearing a pair of pure New Zealand sock are also beneficial.


Handkerchiefs are more environmentally friendly than tissues which end up in landfill....


Eat lots of fresh fruit & vegetables, make the most of fresh air and time in the sunshine to keep up one's strength and immune systems.

Level 10
Darwin, Australia

Thanks @Airbnb for stating the obvious, but not always obvious requirements, as recommended by WHO, as well as considered general, but best practise.


🌼 Although these are all common sense procedures, common sense is also known as a “superpower”! Lol.....


Without scare mongering, a few other suggestions where as hosts, we need to supply essentials.

🙌🏼 Washing:

- If a bathroom is shared amongst guests and the host family, or maybe dorm styled with multiple cubicles of toilets and showers,  discard soap bars at the general wash basins and use liquid dispensers. Same for in the laundry.


🙌🏼 Shared soap bars are widely known hazards for cross - contamination.

- Those soap dishes also need extra cleaning to avoid cross contamination from an individual’s soap.

- Use aerosol disinfectants for hard to reach air pockets and surfaces. eg: lamp shades, inside cupboards.

- Maybe use essential oil diffusers alongside the cleaning products, with oils that have antibacterial qualities.

- Please note, that liquid soaps that are sold as antibacterial, STILL need a long hand wash for the suppression of germs. There are no shortcuts.


Other items:

🙌🏼 Toys etc:

Like Daycare centres, you should ensure they are regularly washed with disinfectants or a good detergent. Dry in the sun or place in a dryer. 


🙌🏼 Where applicable, please be proactive with protecting yourselves with vaccinations against seasonal “flu”.  For the aged or those whose immunity may be compromised, pneumococcal vaccine and others, may need to be considered. Seek information from your doctor if clarification is needed.


Hope this helps.... 



I suspect that we’re going to see more cancellations as the Corona virus spreads, so I hope AirBnB does the right thing and does not penalize hosts who decide to cancel reservations for the protection of their families and themselves. We know guests can do that with impunity for unforeseen circumstances beyond their control. A pandemic certainly fits that circumstance for hosts.

Level 1
Sharon, MA

Hi. I have a new reservation request from guests traveling from Hong Kong to the U.S. in June.  I assumed they sent a request rather than instant booking due to the Corona virus outbreak although I am not sure. I am inclined to accept it and see how things progress with the  virus outbreak by then.  I am not one to over worry about things like this yet I would welcome any guidance or opinion from other hosts about whether to accept this reservation request or not at this time.  Thanks. 

Level 7
Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico

@Laura2651  I think your approach is good - accept, keep calm and monitor how things go.  

Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

hello @Laura2651  & welcome to ABB CC from a fellow Host in Auckland, New Zealand

You may like to use related keywords in the search box and read other discussions on this topic if you haven't already as there's some valuable contributions.


Very sadly an Italian Doctor has now been diagnosed as having Coronavirus - One has to have empathy and spare a thought to how the person/people who  provide Professional Duty of  Care to patients must be feeling knowing they to could be exposed to this serious disease.


Then there's the rest of us in mainstream society who have no idea where those we encounter on our daily travels may have lived in or traveled to where it originates from and what we may be exposed to.


Take care and err on the side of caution.


Level 2
Tampa, FL

I think you can accept the request because as you say, this may have blown over by then. Can;t lose income based on what if??? Also ask for a copy of medical clearance to ease your mind.

Level 10
Zagreb, Croatia

coronavirus is NOT a flu

it is far more infectious

it is deadlier

it is pandemic

it is spreading by aerosols (through the air) as well


doctors and nurses get infected despite 3 layers of masks, disposable protective suits from head to toe, triple pair fo rubber gloves and protective sealed eyeglasses.


Ones infected you can have an incubation period of up to 27 days and you are infectious  for others during that time

Ones you recover you are still infectious to others for weeks.

That's why it is spreading so fast and unstoppable.


Keep this in mind and educate yourself before it is too late. Follow Chris Martenson's youtube channel  (13 videos till today)



Level 10
Darwin, Australia

I agree @Branka-and-Silvia0 , that influenza is NOT Covid19, but both are from the corona virus family, as is the common cold.

I think @Airbnb  are reminding everyone here on the platform, that there are other infectious viruses out there, by their subtle heading. Best practise for hygiene and cleaning, will and does go a long way with infection.

As for highly infectious diseases that evolve, such as viruses, we need to be vigilant, have action plans, but not lose sleep or make ourselves sick with worry. 🙂

Level 3
British Columbia, Canada

Thank you for the reminder to be extra careful cleaning between guests. Disinfecting toys, door handles and remote controls all need a little extra attention.

Level 7
West Ballina, Australia



Personally, I feel that Airbnb and the like, are cleaner than most forms of housing due to the regularity of cleaning and linen changes. As we clean and prepare, clearing away the energy of the previous guest we are refreshing and creating a new foundation for our next guest to appreciate.

What are your thoughts on this?

Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

Certainly @Yasmin2 some of us are a lot cleaner than than average Hotel/ motel where they very rarely launder bedspreads and underblankets/ bed / mattress protectors!


I doubt if they bother to vacuum clean the mattress either unlike some of us!

It sure pays to look at Reviews , and news media articles where there may be mention of criminal behaviour or bed bugs in those places before deciding where to stay

Level 7
West Ballina, Australia

Helen, I was surprised when staying in a 4-star inner-city hotel which is rare cause I prefer staying Airbnb.  Under the bed was full of dust tissues and stuff that may have been there for a year or so.

I'm conscious to make sure each room supports those with allergies and yes all of the above you wrote too

Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

@Yasmin2, that happens all to frequently one has to question if some in management are also not doing their jobs.


When you are replying to others @Yasmin2 , if use the @ and the person's name so it tags them  so they know when you are addressing them 🙂


Level 4
Aptos, CA

Oh my gosh!

I highly suggest using a duvet cover over an insert and washing it after each guest without a second thought. I also suggest washing every blanket on the bed. It seems like a lot of laundry, because it is, but with two of everything we can rotate through the laundry cycle and provide fresh, clean beds and a relatively quick turn around.


Personally, it doesn't matter to me what others do or don't do, but when I am finished cleaning my Airbnb, there is no doubt that my guests will notice and get a good night sleep!

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