I wanted to specifically ask hosts who share/live in their space with guests - how are you feeling about resuming bookings please? Personally I am still not comfortable with a stream of short-term bookings. However, I have had a couple of enquiries about longer term bookings, which I'm considering. Then again, any guest will be out and about, and I'm wondering how that would work, even with strict cleaning procedures. Would both the guest and I be, or feel, safe?
Where are you at in your thinking about it all? Any thoughts appreciated.
All the best,
Hi @Nichola7 ! - Since we were allowed to resume hosting on 4 July, I've hosted 8 Airbnb singles/couples for 1/2/2/3/3/2/2/1 nights. Plus a single/couple for 2/4 nights from another source. I've got 4 bookings pending in the next 2 weeks....
Only ONE of my visitors seemed worried re Covid. He arrived wearing a mask, saying "I've got my sanitizer" & was nervous & anxious & keen to avoid me, despite having been very friendly on a previous visit. One group said on the doorstep "We can wear masks if you like." Everybody else has acted as tho' Covid doesn't exist! (That's the British for you! And French, & Indians living in UK from my little straw poll!)
My entrance lobby is tiny & no one other than Mr Anxious seems to attempt to social distance when welcoming guests in.
I have a note to self to socially distance in the house & don't offer welcome cups of tea like I used to. - Apart from one chap on his own, & then we sat 2m apart in the dining room.
My cleaning is the same as normal, except I also disinfect the bathroom door handles, lock, taps, looflush when guests leave & after I've used the shared bathroom. And in between if I think of it! I keep a sponge soaked in disinfectant in a container by the bathroom door.
The decision to host was for me based on 2 things:
1) The law
2) perceived risk.
1) I only let ONE room now, not 2 or 3, so that I comply with the 'only 2 households may be under one roof' law.
2) Risk is to an extent in the eye of the beholder.... Yes there is SOME risk by hosting, but probably no more than going to the supermarket, & we can minimize risk by social distancing within our own house, as far as possible.
And of course if you personally are in a high risk group, that's an individual factor for you.
- But life is risky, & people still drive cars & do all sorts of activities with a small statistical risk...
During lockdown I had a doctor, who is a regular stay a few times. I asked him "Is this concern about the virus real?" He answered "It IS real, yes....." then tailed off, in a manner which I interpreted to mean - Yes, it's real, but not as dangerous as the media hype would have you believe...
As the "2 households under one roof" rule had not then been published, I asked the doctor if it would bother him to stay here if there were other guests, all with shared bathroom... "Not at all", he said, "Not at all!"
I have a cupboard in the kitchen where my guests have their own cutlery, crockery, glasses etc. which they rinse and put into the dishwasher.
I ask guests to put used towels, linen etc into a laundry bag.
I follow the Covid cleaning guidance on Airbnb's website and leave a day between guests.
@Nichola7 I haven't hosted since early March and don't foresee being able to in the near future.
There is no way I am going to risk contracting COVID by sharing my home with a guest who may or may not be taking proper precautions.
None of us really know, do we, what level of risk we are exposing ourselves & others to?
- So for me, it's attempting to strike a balance between living like a hermit & carrying on as normal, as if Covid didn't exist.
So I DO host in my own home, but ONE room now, not three, & in a socially distanced fashion.
- I actually felt quite annoyed this evening, with my new guest, who seems to have a COMPLETE & TOTAL lack of awareness of what's been going on these last months...... I mentioned 2 metre distancing on arrival, & he scoffed & ridiculed.... In answer to his question about my recent Lake District walks I said we weren't allowed to until recently! He mocked & scoffed again, & seemed to have no comprehension of why not! - I explained, & it all seemed news to him! (From London!) I explained that even if we don't care about ourselves, there is a need to protect others.... - Zero comprehension. ...(Grrr...) Then later he calls outside my door, can't enter wifi code (no one else has failed) - Stands close, asking me to identify whether certain letter was lower or upper case.... I grab copy, & say I'll social distance, but no, he demands I pore over the one he's holding, saying social distancing doesn't matter.... - HOW SELFISH!
- Half an hour later, I discover he's broken my dimmer switch on the dining room lights......
@Helen350 This is why I'm not willing to take the risk of home-sharing at the present time. Even if a guest isn't as obnoxious as your guest, and so obviously not taking the virus seriously at all, I have no way of knowing what precautions a guest would be taking when outside the home, even if they tell me they are being careful. Nor would I want to have to constantly run around sterilizing light switches, doorknobs, etc. which I and the guests both use.
I feel that way about many of my friends, as well. I have one friend who I have no qualms about visiting- she's a cancer survivor, she almost never goes out since COVID, and she is no way going to put herself in any risky situations. But my closest neighbor, who is also my friend, I maintain distance with when we chat outside, don't enter his house, and sterilize any objects he might hand me and wash my hands well, because I just don't know how vigilant he's being when out and about, even though he says he is.
Just this week I got an email from one of my all-time fave guests, who I've kept in touch with, who asked if I might be open to renting her the guest room for an extended period this coming fall, like a couple months or more. I've never wanted a full time roommate, and in fact, my max stay setting on Airbnb is 2 weeks. But I already know we get along great and she was a super respectful guest (when she had a little "accident " on the sheets, she told me right away, even though she was quite mortified and embarrassed, and asked if I'd show her how to work the washing machine, which isn't normally on offer to guests, because there was "no way I want you to have to touch the sheet or even look at it" and I know she'd be quite vigilant about taking all the right virus precautions. So I told her I would definitely be open to that.
If I had a guest that wasn't following my agreed rules under hosting under Covid I would have asked Airbnb to cancel the booking @Helen350
I don't believe for one moment he didn't understand the importance of social distancing, just that he couldn't be bothered with it.
@Helen3 He's a strange chap, one of those imposing, all- about-him, demanding personalities, making me think I'm not being friendly, or am being stand-offish...... pre-trip messaging asked whether his satnav would find me (How should I know?) I replied that c.350 people had succeeded, & only 3 had failed to drive to my doorstep! So he phones me to say he's at XXX - 2-3 miles away! Asks me to phone him! I message back he can phone me! He asks me to SAY the post code, then confirms it's the one he has, and that it's now taking him to mine! - So why the manipulative drama of messaging me to phone him? Was exactly the same with the wifi code, worse cos he was in my (personal) space.... I've got another night of him, if he makes it on/off England's highest mountain in the wind & rain & poor visibility...... three more adverse elements of which he appears to have no understanding/respect.....
(Note to self: start again, be nice, calmly & assertively maintain the need to social distance...)
- Contrast today's new booking for tomorrow, who opened with "We're a household, living together, we are being careful with social distancing, any questions please ask!"
Since mid-March, shared term rental accommodations are not allowed in my city. Self contained ones are allowed. I am glad I don't have to make the choice as yet.
Many thanks indeed for this - I am double-checking the current situation in Scotland.
And anyway, it is a very pertinent point that other people living in a communal stairway may be shielding or vulnerable, and in my opinion, that needs taking into account too when deciding.
I think that's why I thought a 3-month guest could be an option. Only one person coming and going. Although that person is also out and about, doing their life. Then again, you might choose to have a family member stay for a while, is that different? What is the difference?
Hmm all quite tricky.
All the best,
@Nichola7 I know that having a 3-month guest sounds a comforting compromise, but I've been wondering, Is it really safer than lots of people coming & going? It all depends what people are doing, outside the house. A 3 month guest who spends every night in pubs would be a greater risk than a succession of folk who never go to public indoor areas, apart from the occasional supermarket dash. - I suppose.
Thanks very much @Helen350 and everyone for all the comments - really helpful. I'm sure there is more to discuss here and a range of possible scenarios in an ever-evolving situation.
For now, I decided not to go ahead with bookings, and will take stock again sometime soon.
Very best wishes to all.