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    Answers to your hosting questions about COVID-19

    Here’s the latest from Airbnb on COVID-19 vaccines, cancellations, and more.
    By Airbnb on 5 Mar 2020
    5 min read
    Updated 17 Dec 2021

    Highlights

    • Hosts are still required to follow the 5-step cleaning process
    • Your house rules can require guests to be vaccinated or recently tested for COVID-19, where legally allowed

    • Hosts and guests should follow local guidelines on masks and social distancing

    Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March 2020, our community has navigated unprecedented challenges and times of uncertainty. We want to continue to support you by answering some common Host questions about vaccines, COVID-19 variants, cleaning, and more.

    What guidance can you offer Hosts about new COVID-19 concerns, such as the Omicron variant?
    Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve consulted with top medical experts to help guide our response.

    “As we see the development of new variants emerging around the world, we’re continuing to work closely with Airbnb to monitor and update our recommendations for their community as needed”, says Airbnb medical adviser Dr Megan Coffee, an infectious disease doctor, epidemiologist, and researcher.

    “Airbnb still requires all Hosts to follow the mandatory 5-step cleaning process, and we also urge Hosts and guests to observe all local health and travel requirements”, she says.

    To help travellers keep track of changing COVID-19-related guidelines, we’ve also partnered with Sherpa, an online tool that provides travellers with real-time travel rules for destinations worldwide. Hosts and guests can use Sherpa to learn about testing requirements, quarantine protocols, and other restrictions.

    Can I require my guests to be vaccinated or tested for COVID-19?
    Hosts can set their own house rules, including specifying whether they require guests to be vaccinated or recently tested for COVID-19, unless prohibited under applicable local laws or regulations.

    If you’re requiring guests to be vaccinated or recently tested, be sure to say so clearly and prominently in your listing description as well as in your house rules so potential guests don’t miss it.

    What are the latest guidelines on cleaning, social distancing, and masks?
    As we continue our efforts to help protect our communities and prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hosts are required to follow the 5-step enhanced cleaning process between stays. For detailed instructions and checklists, you can download our cleaning handbook, which was developed in partnership with medical experts.

    Since Airbnb has listings around the world, and different regions may be at different stages of their COVID-19 containment efforts, we’re asking Hosts and guests to follow local laws and guidelines for mask wearing and social distancing. Where required by local laws or guidelines, Hosts and guests must agree to wear a face covering and maintain 6 feet (2 metres) of distance when interacting with one another in person.

    Learn more about our COVID-19 safety practices

    What is the extenuating circumstances policy, and does it still cover COVID-19-related cancellations?
    The extenuating circumstances policy applies when unforeseen events, such as natural disasters or public health emergencies, make it impossible or illegal to complete a booking. Hosts and guests affected by an event covered by this policy may be eligible to cancel their reservation without penalty.

    Reservations made after 14 March 2020 for stays and Airbnb Experiences that become affected by COVID-19-related disruptions are not eligible for refunds under the extenuating circumstances policy, except if the guest or Host is sick with COVID-19.

    Although the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to trigger events like border closures or lockdown requirements, these are no longer considered unforeseen following the March 2020 declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

    To receive a refund under our policy, guests who are sick with COVID-19 within 14 days of the booking check-in date are required to provide Airbnb with supporting documentation (where legally allowed).

    Different policies apply for domestic reservations in mainland China and for Luxe or Luxury Retreats reservations.

    Learn more about our extenuating circumstances policy and COVID-19

    What happens if my guests or I get COVID-19?
    If a Host or a guest has tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, it’s Airbnb’s policy that guests should not check in and Hosts should not enter their space or interact with guests in person.

    If a guest has already checked in and either you or they get COVID-19, contact Airbnb to let us know so we can help. Guests and Hosts who get COVID-19 are both eligible for cancellation without penalty under our extenuating circumstances policy, as long as they can provide Airbnb with supporting documentation (where legally allowed), such as a positive test result within 14 days of check-in.

    Learn what to do if you or a guest gets sick with COVID-19

    Will it affect my Superhost status if I cancel a reservation because I’m sick with COVID-19?
    Cancellations covered under our extenuating circumstances policy by a Host who is sick with COVID-19 won’t have any impact on the 1% cancellation rate needed to maintain Superhost status, though there are other requirements to remain a Superhost.

    What else do I need to know about maintaining my Superhost status?
    Beginning in April 2020, we waived our usual criteria regarding the number of stays and cancellation rate for current Superhosts. We also extended current Superhosts' status, as long as they continued to uphold a 90% response rate or higher and at least a 4.8 overall rating.

    After the 1 January 2022 Superhost assessment, we will return to our usual requirements for Superhosts. Hosts will need to meet all 4 criteria at the 1 April 2022 assessment and future assessments to earn or keep Superhost status.

    Learn more about updates to the Superhost assessment

    How can I adjust my hosting strategy to better fit travellers’ needs right now?
    Recent Airbnb data* shows that the top amenities guests want include a pet-friendly space, a kitchen, and wifi.

    As many people continue to work remotely, consider setting up a laptop-friendly workspace with a fast wifi connection. To showcase your connection for potential guests, try using the wifi speed test, which lets Hosts verify and display their wifi speed.

    Learn more about the best amenities to offer right now

    How will Airbnb support Hosts who offer more flexible stays?
    Choosing a more flexible cancellation policy is another way to help attract bookings in uncertain times. We’ve rolled out a filter that makes it easier for guests to find listings with flexible cancellations, and we’ve also begun testing a new cancellation policy to help Hosts who want to encourage longer stays.

    Learn more about offering flexible cancellations

    I still have questions. Who should I contact?
    For more information, we encourage you to check out our COVID-19 safety resources or visit the Help Centre. If you have an urgent question, please contact our community support team.

    *According to Airbnb internal data that measured the most frequently searched amenities from 1 September 2020 to 1 September 2021.

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Highlights

    • Hosts are still required to follow the 5-step cleaning process
    • Your house rules can require guests to be vaccinated or recently tested for COVID-19, where legally allowed

    • Hosts and guests should follow local guidelines on masks and social distancing

    Airbnb
    5 Mar 2020
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