Airbnb Hosting / Hosting Tips

Airbnb and Coronavirus: How to Host Safely

In this article, you will learn about Airbnb and Coronavirus and your hosting rights during the outbreak.

On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a  Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19.

The reassuring news is that most people who catch Coronavirus actually have will only have mild flu symptoms. Children very rarely have caught it. But, everyone can potentially spread it around and for the older population and people with underlying health conditions, it can be deadly.

So, how can we safely, happily (boldly) host on Airbnb with the Coronavirus outbreak?

What Does Airbnb Say?

“Given the health and safety risks posed by this virus, we are asking all hosts and guests to please review your local authorities’ travel guidance and health advisories related to this outbreak, in addition to global guidance from the WHO,” Airbnb said on its website. “We strongly urge our community to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself when traveling or hosting.”

What if a Guest is Coming From a Coronavirus Area?

Infections have now been reported in every continent except Antarctica, so that’s everywhere actually. Only guests coming from certain areas, like Mainland China and South Korea, fall under the extenuating circumstances policy, for now.

But, If you feel uncomfortable with any reservation, ever, you just need to call customer service and explain why. As long as it is an instant booking, you do have the right to cancel if the reason is valid enough.

In my case, I live in Washington State the most Coronavirus cases are in the U.S. For now, it’s confined to just a couple of areas. In saying that, I had guests coming from both of the outbreak towns. As the Coronavirus is a new, updating situation in Washington State, I was starting to feel nervous to host them. I contacted customer service and explained this and was able to cancel those two reservations without penalties. They were very supportive.

Airbnb and Coronavirus

Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances Policy for the Coronavirus Outbreak.

The original cancellation policy will still apply to guests or hosts who cancel a reservation due to general ‘coronavirus fears’ if they are not directly impacted by the virus, related travel warnings or travel restrictions.

“Our extenuating circumstances policy covers our hosts and guests with eligible reservations who are being impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We’re closely monitoring official guidance from local government and health authorities and the World Health Organization in order to support the health and wellbeing of our community in severely impacted areas” Airbnb said on its website. “As the situation evolves, we will be continuously evaluating and updating this policy. “

Your Airbnb During the Outbreak.

Most guests won’t cancel their flights, car rentals and accommodation that has been booked for months. Therefore, keeping your Airbnb sanitized after each guest will be as important to your health as is it for the next guest checking-in. Here are some steps you can take to ensure germs are not left behind at check-out.

Ways to Protect Yourself.

Follow these common-sense steps to keep the germ levels down if you are in a shared Airbnb space (renting a room) :

  • Once a guest is in your Airbnb the best defense is to wash your hands frequently and correctly and make sure your guest uses the private washroom you provide.
  • If you are sharing a bathroom, with a Clorox wipe, clean the faucet and toilet and light switch before you use the washroom. This will really only take 5-10 seconds to do.
  • Provide a box of kleenex and hand sanitizer in the bathrooms and on the nightstand of the guest.
  • Place a wastebasket in the guest’s room to catch all those used tissues — and make sure to line the basket with a plastic bag to minimize contact with germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes nose and mouth because that’s how viruses can enter the body.
Airbnb and Coronavirus

If your Airbnb is a suite in your home and shares air circulation with your living area, there are some steps you can take beforehand to help filter your air.

Sanitise After Check-Out.

Since the virus can live on hard surfaces for 24 hours, disinfect surfaces that have been touched. Pay special attention to the guests’ bathroom and bedroom. Taking basic cleaning steps will remove the concern for the next person. After the guest leaves:

  • Open the windows of their room and bathroom for at least 20 mins to change the air.
  • Use rubber gloves and disinfecting wipes on key spots such as: tabletops, countertops, remote controls, doorknobs, sinks, light switches, faucet handles, sinks, countertop, tub and toilet (including the entire seat and the toilet handle).
  • If you are really concerned, you could wear an N95 face mask and change/wash your clothes after cleaning.
Airbnb and Coronavirus

Sanitize the Laundry

A guest’s towels and bedding are full of germs, so don’t “hug” dirty clothes as you take them to the washer. This could spread the germs onto you. Instead, wear rubber gloves and transport dirty clothes in a laundry basket and wash your hands after loading the washer. Let soak in hot water for 30 mins with detergent and 1/4 cup of bleach. Wash and dry normally.

New to hosting? Click here for my FREE Airbnb lisiting Workbook!

I hope this article gives you some peace of mind and useful information. You’ll just need to remember to be diligent in your cleaning and sanitizing. For more tips on being a Airbnb Host check out my Etsy Shop for modern and useful printables & host bundles filled with freebies for your Airbnb!

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