I'm really concerned about airbnb's new demands that we wear a mask in our own homes. I can't do it, nor is it necessary here. I have a B&B, which by definition in our town means I run this business in my own home and care for my guests personally.
I do social distance as much as the guest would like me to. I understand fear, and I respect another person's feelings in general. But this is beyond intrusive. Most businesses are not requiring masks in Southern Utah, it's just a suggestion as we are at yellow.
That's not really the point. The issue is that they are making one rule for the whole of North America without any regard to local conditions.
Yes Covid-19 cases continue to go up, but at the same time the hospitalization and death rate is going down down down. The people we know who have had the disease and recovered did so at home without a doctor's care. I'm aware this is anecdotal, but it is certainly our experience.
I'm much more afraid of overreaching mandates than I am of this disease at this point. It's obviously mutated as all viruses do and is not as virulent as it was once reported to be.
Here's a scenario for discussion; What if a host has already had it? Immunity has proven to be the norm, just as in the case of other viruses. You can only get it once. That one study stating otherwise was proven false. So if a host has already gotten it and recovered then why would one need to wear a mask?
Excellent comment thanks for sharing Darcy, I love South Dakota. I was born in Sturgis (but err not conceived! har har)
I wonder what kind of benefits come with being an airbnb employee now that they are forcing us on how to operate and not advise on operation!
Guests come to our big ranch to get away from the mask requirements in crowded cities. Guests stay at vacation homes because they are like homes -- where you don't have to wear a mask. We offer plenty of social distancing and safe interactions with >6' distance IN THE OUTDOORS -- we have a completely separate guest house which we clean and do a 24 hr air-out. We will NOT be requiring guests (nor us) to wear masks while on our large ranch. We are frequently crossing paths with our guests outdoors as they take their dogs on hikes on our trails or come to see our horses and llamas, etc.
If Airbnb believes there is a need for disclosure about masks, then can add a field where owner specifies whether masks are required vs safe social distancing. I bet they'll see a huge decrease in bookings of properties where masks are required in outdoor interaction properties like ours.
@Cyndi31 I don't see anything about a mask requirement in outdoor areas. If you do an in-person check-in and give a tour of the guest house, it would be appropriate to wear masks during that, but nobody seems to be saying that guests have to wear masks while walking around the ranch.
@Andrew0I'm not sure what you're reading that outdoor interactions don't have masks required -- the Airbnb mask requirement makes no distinction or exceptions about WHERE interacting.
"All hosts and guests must agree to: Wear a mask or face covering when interacting in person... When you are in a common area or shared space (as a host or guest), wear a mask and maintain distance from anyone who's not part of your reservation at all times in accordance with the COVID-19 safety practices (at least 6 feet or 2 meters). "
Our common areas and shared space ARE OUTDOORS (we have no common indoor areas). It's even safer to wave hi and welcome guests outside from 20' away and offer essentially contactless check-in. With no distinction between indoors vs outdoors interactions, then I can't make up my own interpretation that masks don't apply to me since my interactions are outdoors. That would certainly be confusing to guests as well. I would hope that Airbnb is paying attention to issues with their one-size-fits-all requirement -- they need to modify it to specify "indoor interactions" if that is what is intended but it has yet to be changed on https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2839/what-are-the-health-and-safety-requirements-for-airbnb-stay... where Airbnb links owners for info about the new mask requirement. Even strict California has been clear about indoors vs outdoors and have encouraged/required businesses to move outdoors for more safety.
@Cyndi31 Hey, I totally agree that if Airbnb is going to get heavy-handed about these restrictions, they should be a little clearer about where indoor vs outdoor distinctions apply. But when people talk about "common areas," unless they're total idiots they are referring to indoor spaces and not the vast grounds of a 500 acre ranch - nor is anyone demanding that you put a mask on your llamas. Really, on this one I seriously think you can relax.
Probably the people at Airbnb who are writing this stuff have never been on a 10 acre ranch, let alone a 500 acre one, in their lives and are under some unimaginative misconception that hosts and guests only interact inside a house or on the front porch.
I dont see much of anything in terms of mask wearing andrew. but I did notice on the page where they begin the forced agreement stuff, the cartoon of the two men....they are outside!
when I asked earlier to air bnb they said any interaction
I will likely no longer be hosting on the platform while this mask requirement is in place. It seems to me that Airbnb has moved so far from the concept of everyday folks with an extra space renting it out for extra funds. This mask policy is overkill, overly intrusive and does not show logical evidence base policy making. Guests and host should be free to negotiate around what measures they feel will make them safe and comfortable in a private home. If someone is looking for hotel room sterility and distance then they ought to be staying in a public dwelling. This new policy is simply one more failure on Airbnb's part to support hosts and ballance the needs of guests.
I absolutely agree with your sentences:
This mask policy is overkill, overly intrusive and does not show logical evidence base policy making. Guests and host should be free to negotiate around what measures they feel will make them safe and comfortable in a private home.
Airbnb should be with the hosts as well.
I live in South Australia
We have had 0 cases for about 5 months now. No one here wears masks. Social distancing sure but It would actually be ridiculous to greet a guest wearing a mask here in SA.
I follow our state governments regulations and have committed to the COVID clean. Please trust us to comply with our individual situations/cultures and government standards.
I really enjoy hosting via the air BnB platform but don’t appreciated being dictated to /threatened to shut my listing if I dont agree to a mask.
If the situation in my region changes I will comply but in the meantime a guest here in SA would be alarmed to see a host greet them wearing a mask.
Each region of the world is in a different stage/situation.
Let us be governed by our region.
and all you keyboard warriors lay off and stay on topic please.
This is about Air BnB forcing a one size fits all policy on us and not trusting our common sense that’s all.
I have to wonder why a guest who would insist on totally masked interaction would be travelling at all, rather than staying at home hiding under their bed. I suspect that there actually are no such people, and that this bizarre edict from AirBNB is about corporate virtue-signalling and covering themselves politically.
I suggest a new Amenity should be listed, alongside Iron and Laptop-Friendly Workspace, so that Covid obsessives could stay with Covid obsessives, and the rest of us could get on with our lives and judge our own comfort with risk. The Amenity tickbox could be called 'Bedwetter'.
@David192 There's no need to portray the act of trying not to catch a deadly virus in such a derogatory way. People who make an effort to mitigate their risks are neither hiding under their beds nor wetting them - it's an unprecedented situation in our lifetimes, and we're all still learning how to navigate it.
At the same time, I agree that a guest (or host) who isn't comfortable having unmasked interaction indoors with strangers right now is a poor fit for a shared household listing. My suggestion would be to suspend Instant Book and require some pre-booking communication both ways about practices and expectations - while assuring hosts that they won't be penalized for declining when it's not a match.
It's also a pipe dream, as a business like Airbnb is only going to act "socially responsible" when it's good for the bottom line.
We have been listing our spare bedroom that includes a private bathroom via Airbnb for three years. We take no more than two people at a time. Having had 66 FIVE-STAR reviews during these years we have been hosting (including 25 this summer of 2020) we have earned our Superhost badge.
We have not agreed to the Airbnb cleaning protocol but have ALWAYS taken good care to thoroughly clean both the shared spaces (kitchen, living room) and the private areas (bathroom, sitting area, and bedroom) between stays.
We do not have "Instant Booking"., and in our description paragraph, we state the following:
"*BEFORE BOOKING* Read guest/host requirements in the *Other Things to Note* below."
In the *Other Things to Note* we inform potential guests of the following three points:
1• We must follow the Vermont Department of Health requirements for hosting and upon arrival they must be willing to sign a self-certification by filling a form issued by the VDH. We include in our communications the text of the affidavit they have to sign. (The text is a bit long to include here, but if a potential guest is not willing to sign it, we do not proceed with the booking.)
2 • We have always thoroughly cleaned the guest area between guest stays and in addition to normal toiletries, we provide hand sanitizer.
3• We welcome our guests with prayer hands and keep our distance, but we don't wear face masks at our home. Guests are not expected to wear them while in the house, but they can proceed as they feel most comfortable.
-- Some people inquire about how we handle the COVID situation before they actually book. So we send them the information above and, in some instances, with a thorough description of the relative location of shared and not shared spaces.
Most people book with us after they read this and many guests arrive wearing masks but opt to not wear them while in our home. Our reviews continue to be 5-stars for every aspect, including "Cleanliness" and people have left nothing but positive comments after they stay with us.
For those who request a booking, without inquiring first, before approving, we restate the three points above and ask for a confirmation about their willingness to sign the affidavit by the VT Department of Health.
Only in one case, a person after having booked asked if we wore masks while cleaning. We clarified again that we do not wear masks in our home at any time. After a polite message exchange, we ended up asking her to kindly cancel her booking with us because this was not a good fit. She did and got a full refund. Also, our cancellation policy is the most flexible.
I share this as an example that pre-booking conversation between guests and hosts is possible and terms can be stated before people agree to be host or guests to each other.
Given the experience shared above, I believe that Airbnb would be better serving their "community" of guests and hosts if they allow this kind of pre-booking interaction so that we all take it as far as we can comfortably go, and bookings are mutually decided between guests and hosts on a case-by-case basis.