Last updated: March 13th, 2020
As more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak becomes available, Airbnb continues to prioritize the safety and well-being of our community of hosts, guests and employees around the world.
As this situation evolves, we strongly urge you to review your local government’s travel guidance and health advisories and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your guests when hosting or traveling.
Following governmental and health authorities guidance and recommendations, Airbnb is offering impacted hosts and guests with eligible reservations the option to cancel their reservations without charges through our extenuating circumstances policy. We’ll continue to evaluate and update this policy in line with official guidance.
Airbnb understands that you may have concerns, and we’d like to encourage impacted hosts and guests to reach out to our customer support team (https://www.airbnb.com/help/home) with questions or to get help with canceling reservations.
More details about our extenuating circumstances policy can be found here.
Read the FAQs here: Answers to your hosting questions about coronavirus
My daughter and I have been looking at ways to ensure the safety of our guests once the Coronavirus reaches the US to minimize cancelations. These were a few of the thoughts after we reviewed the CDCs information on their website. I would love more input or thoughts on whether it is an overkill in certain areas. We just did our first practice with our new policies yesterday. It takes us a little longer to clean but is worth the peace of mind.
1. We are adding 91% alcohol to our cleaning solution.
2. Wiping down all door knobs, handles, light switches, and anything else that may have been touched by the previous guests.
3. Buying allergen protective covers for all our pillows and we will be recommending to our guests to bring their own for the time being.
4. We already wash all our sheets, etc with bleach.
5. Any surface that cannot be cleaned, spray with Lysol. (Couch, decorative pillows)
6. I provide continental breakfast during the week and breakfast on the weekend. Once there is confirmed spread, we will be canceling weekend breakfast and providing individual (single use) breakfast items instead. (No more bagels, pastries, apples, etc)
7. We use disposal gloves during our cleaning as well and have N-95 masks available if one our our guests starts to show symptoms.
8. We are waiting on more information and eventual recommendation from AirBNB, however, we do rent out by the room downstairs. If it does get bad here in the US, we are considering renting out for the whole space only so we can disinfect after every new guests to minimize the spread.
We don’t want to stop or cancel any reservation but want to give our guests peace of mind that we are doing every thing we can to keep them safe as well as my own.
Again, any additional recommendations or ideas are appreciated.
Hello Teresa, I am a reporter with the Los Angeles Times who is writing a story on coronavirus and the impact it is having on guests and hosts. Would you be willing to talk about your experience and concerns? If so, would really appreciate any time you have. I can be reached by email at *sensitive information hidden*
Thanks so much,
AND - as I am non stop reading the news about coronavirus in different countries - I understand that the death issues of infected people are not properly given - statistics is not to be beleived. As it is strange in some counties with only 1000 positive to have 10% deaths and in others with more than 80000 less than 3%.
You see how many public events are canceled - why should we not have the right to cancel the bookings we feel are dangerious for our neighbors and relatives? Why we should be punished instead of been rewarded that we are taking care the infecion not to spread? Airbnb can be in great danger to be sentenced from many courts of the world in case some guests would be the cause to spread the infection - as the fault will not be one from the hosts but from Airbnb.
@Lilly28 I 100% agree. Airbnb is just being irresponsible and greedy in times like this. Their response to my query was "oh let's wait until it get's much worst" before we contemplate doing the right thing like all the other responsible and reliable public company that are already giving out travel waiver. Good luck with their IPO this year if this is the level of service to be expected. My friends and many other have warned me about the nightmare that is airbnb but I didn't listen. Shame on me and them.
Can I cancel guests coming from Italy (Padua) next week under extenuating circumstances policy without penalty?
My House Rules specifically require guests to have in place, at the time of booking, valid travel insurance and therefore the guest agrees/confirms that this is the case when accepting the terms and conditions at the point of booking. How is it reasonable therefore that Airbnb can elect to override this requirement and simply cancel reservations and provide full refunds to guests, at the expense of hosts, when this is the very function of the travel insurance which the guest has confirmed to be in place at the time of booking?
That's not enforceable @Cave0 for you to say guests need travel insurance.
When you sign up to Airbnb you agree to abide by their terms including their EC policy.
They are not over-riding your house rules. You can't have house rules in conflict with their terms.
Have you looked at other listing companies that don't have an EC policy?
Airbnb is not even aware of any hosts house rules and is not concerned with them, all that applies is what Airbnb decides it wants to do.
In fact, in other situations not involving EC policy, Airbnb have ridden rough shod over my house rules, including trying to get out of acting when guests have broken the law by bringing more than the licensed number of guests to the property. Of course, when I suggest calling the police to resolve the illegal activity, Airbnb isn't keen on that either.
Really it all boils down to the fact that Airbnb treats hosts with utter contempt and therefore doesn't set a very good tone for a business relationship.
There has been a noticeable shift in the both the customer service attitude towards hosts contacting Airbnb over the last 18-24 months, it is not encouraging
My House Rules specifically require guests to have in place, at the time of booking, valid travel insurance...
Thats a smart and simple move. Under normal circumstances I would agree with you entirely, this Corona Virus outbreak steps outside of the norm somewhat and pretty much rules are being made up as we progress.
Under normal circumstances Airbnb should take into account your House Rules and the Guest should not rely on a cancellation refund impacting the Host. In your circumstances and Airbnb's oversight, I would agree that the guest failing to adhere to your House Rules should fulfil their contractual obligations.
Travel insurance companies will consider regional restrictions placed by governments in the same way that Airbnb would, so if insurance was in place, the onus would be with the guest to receive compensation.
Have you had any sort of reply or update on this, or has it not been tested?
Edit: Just saw @Helen3 's reply re: going against EC and T&C's...
If the extenuating circumstances policy is to apply to guests and hosts from/in areas with circulating virus, it will soon apply to all reservations. It's in my neighborhood now and coming shortly to yours, I expect (if it is not already present and just not yet detected).
I haven't had any cancelations, so far.
I made a reservation in Prague for guests from China and the host refuses to give me a full refund... only half. They do not honor the extenuating circumstances policy and said that Corona virus is not a problem. AirBnB contacted them as well but if the host just wants to keep your money then apparently AirBnB does nothing to intervene.
Sorry I am confused you say you made a reservation for guests from China.
Did you make a third party booking contrary to Airbnb's T&C's?
It is not up to the host to decide on the refund it meets EC's corona virus policy terms.
However if you have booked on their behalf then it looks like you are from Prague so those terms won't apply.
I'm still not entirely sure why guests don't have travel insurance in place and why they think it reasonable that a host and Airbnb should suffer all of the losses resulting from cancellation. It is no more the hosts fault/failing that this virus exists than it is the guests fault, however it does seem to be irresponsible on the part of the guest to elect not to cover their trip with insurance and then expect Airbnb and the host to take the hit.