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?
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. (192.168.0.1 routerlogin 192.168.10.1)
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 based on particular locations and/or levels of comfort.
First of all, I congratulate you. Your approach is very nice and it answers the question marks in people's minds.
Thank you. I have had very similar experiences thus far. No one seems to really want to wear a mask in a home setting. It isn't long before even those who have been used to wearing them are not worrying about it. We just aren't talking close up as we used to, showing maps, etc., so there's no need to fear contagion.
There's no reason for this level of intrusion from airbnb either. I'm really struggling with this "sign or be kicked out" attitude. It's a breach of all the other contracts we've signed with them. They're making a sad situation worse by making it political.
I asked Airbnb to clarify the situation where a host or guest isn't wearing a mask and was told "In the event that a guest/host won't comply to the rules mentioned in our health and safety requirements, the user really needs to contact us right away, preferably by phone, as Airbnb will be mediating if needed".
However, what the published policy actually states is "If you're a guest, you will not be eligible for a refund if your host cancels your reservation because you did not comply with these practices. Similarly, if you're a host, you will not be eligible for a payout if a guest cancels their stay because you did not comply with these practices."
The policy doesn't require guest or host to contact Airbnb before cancelling and it seems to me therefore that a guest can cancel on a whim and get their money back with no burden of proof, as indeed can a host.
Airbnb did, however, suggest that hosts remind guests in the booking response about the policy, that way Airbnb would have evidence that the guest was aware of it. What does that mean? AIrbnb isn't telling guests and it now becomes the responsibility of the host to do this?
Seems to me to have been very badly thought through, not least of all because it is an Airbnb thing, not a legal requirement, yet we are being expected to be policeman, judge and jury.
It smacks of earlier this year when Airbnb just took money off hosts regardless of the cancellation policy in force, seems like we may be seeing more of that.
Airbnb finally confirmed today the following:
As per our policy, “if you're a guest, you will not be eligible for a refund if your host cancels your reservation because you did not comply with these practices. Similarly, if you're a host, you will not be eligible for a payout if a guest cancels their stay because you did not comply with these practices.” Therefore, if you cancel on a guest, because he/she did not comply to our policy, you can cancel the reservation without the cancellation penalties, which means you still get paid."
It was also confirmed that NO EVIDENCE is required under the terms of this policy.
Since hosts have to specifically agree to this policy, I imagine it could have implications with card chargebacks, particularly since guests won't be required to prove non compliance on the part of the host.
Dangerous times, I fear we shall see more money being spirited away from us by Airbnb. And, of course, more worryingly, if it becomes clear to guests that hosts can cancel on a whim, without penalty, then Airbnb may come to be viewed as unreliable and therefore less favoured as a booking platform.
"It smacks of earlier this year when Airbnb just took money off hosts regardless of the cancellation policy in force..."
May I just add to that..
"It smacks of earlier this year when Airbnb just took money off hosts regardless of the cancellation policy in force, and used that money for their own purposes while issuing the majority of refunds in voucher form - single use, non-refundable vouchers, a significant percentage of which will never be redeemed, and all of which have severely restrictive, unorthodox limitations which may ultimately render them partially or wholly worthless for those to whom they were issued.
So as such, it's very much in Airbnb's interests to allow refunds left, right and centre to guests for whatever spurious reasons they care to concoct - specifically, where those refunds are issued in voucher form.
What is very concerning is that ABnB
are relying on the advice of "Vivek what's his name" who is not legally qualified, acting outside of his knowledge & scope of practice & expertise about matters in our countries which are outside of USA jurisdiction where he's apparently based.
If those who are making such decisions had followed the Narrative since at least February in FT they will see other countries have in fact Followed & used in part Chinese Research.
Now tell me, Why does this policy/ Guidance NOT apply to China but it does to everywhere else, including may we assume YOUNG children who are travelling with family as Guests or are part of a FAMILY of HOSTS that they to will be required to wear masks/ face coverings?
We have seen more than enough incompetents with the blanket approach & rubber stamping of Science Research that has been sent to WHO & MASS Data Mining which should be a lesson to all calling the shots with destroyed economies, including Tourism, travel & Mental Well being.
Just today I heard two young students had committed suicide in New Zealand bc of our lockdowns in New Zealand and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
It's a shameful side that Governments & there Science Advisors across the world are ultimately responsible for.
Interesting turn of events! It appears to highlight Airbnbs hypocrisy and struggle with growth.
In short here are my thoughts..... IMHO
This is probably largely due to Airbnb IPO dreams. To succeed they must cater to major $$ controllers, institutional finance and investors. These are the ones behind the flimsy covid hysteria and policies. From the suppression of open scientific dialogue to the promotion of fear propaganda and unproven virus mitigation. Choose your agenda but it is clearly not the health and safety of human life.
When it comes down to it, Airbnb gives lip service to ethics, integrity and ideals it uses to cultivate its image, and is a image marketing tool at best. I have yet to call and speak directly to someone, but I will today.
Although this policy will not make or break me, it is unacceptable and I will find a solution. fortunately I am in a position to find another platform, or shut our units down to vacation travelers.
Solidarity and communication between hosts is important, thank you for creating this post and for the comments. My comments here are not based on politics.
"We just aren't talking close up as we used to, showing maps, etc., so there's no need to fear contagion."
That's just incorrect. The main means of contagion for the virus is people being indoors in an enclosed space together. The virus hangs in the air for up to 3 hours just from people breathing. So if you are sharing spaces with your guests, and no one is wearing masks, the air in your house could be full of virus particles.
I read that the ICUs in Utah are full to capacity with COVID patients. Perhaps that's because people don't understand the concept of something deadly possibly being in the air they are breathing if they can't see it, and how to prevent that. Not worrying about it can have dire consequences.
Cases are going up, but deaths are not, as you can see in the reports. That's going to be true everywhere you look. The numbers here are not less/ no substantially more than areas where masks are required. The curve was flattened and the hospitals, though working hard, are staying on top of it and know how to treat it now. This is not the Spanish flu. The death rate is no where near that. The most dangerous thing that is spreading is fear and virtue-signaling. Enough is enough.
You obviously didn't understand the entire rationale for the "Flattening the Curve" in the first round. They CLEARLY stated that it IS a virus and therefore going to spread. No one can stop it. They ARE developing better ways to treat it and that's why the slowing down of the spread was important, to give the medical community a chance.
Fear is not the way forward. If you're so concerned you should not have people in you home.
Now we are all epidemiologists ... I don't understand and maybe I misunderstand you. Today, treatments are still NOT sufficient in many cases, it is CLEAR that it is important to SLOW DOWN infections NOW. All experts say the same. Do you see what happens in Europe? Where everyone is treated for free, where everyone is a number and enters all hospital departments: few places in intensive care and therefore lockdown or a lot of deaths. It's not good not to have intensive care places, terrible for any disease. I have fear of those who live superficially without fear. @Renée40
Now we are all epidemiologists ... maybe I misunderstand you. Today, treatments are still NOT sufficient in many cases, it is CLEAR that it is important to SLOW DOWN infections NOW. All experts say the same. Do you see what happens in Europe? Where everyone is treated for free, where everyone is a number and enters all hospital departments: few places in intensive care and therefore lockdown. It's not good not to have intensive care places, terrible for any disease. I have fear of those who live superficially without fear. @Renée40