Airbnb Expands COVID-19 Rules, Requires Guests and Hosts to Wear Face Masks When Meeting

Airbnb host

Airbnb has expanded upon its health and safety rules as the coronavirus continues to impact travel.

Starting next week, Airbnb will require both guests and hosts to wear masks and maintain a social distance upon meeting and interacting. Additionally, all hosts will have until Nov. 20 to comply with Airbnb’s Enhanced Cleaning Protocol, introduced earlier this year.

Hosts will be prompted to agree to these health and safety guidelines when they log into their accounts, Airbnb announced. They will have until Nov. 20 to agree, “otherwise their accounts may be subject to warnings, suspensions and, in some cases, removal from the Airbnb platform."

Guests will also be required to comply with the new Airbnb rules. They will be prompted to agree with the new guidelines when they choose to book a stay.

Since the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol was released in April as a result of COVID-19, Airbnb has enrolled almost 1.5 million listings in more than 220 countries around the world in the program. For the past few months, Airbnb guests have been able to search and filter for listings that complied with the new protocol. These listings, on average, have received 4.8-star ratings from guests for their cleanliness and are booked three times more often than non-compliant listings.

The protocol was developed in collaboration with a former U.S. surgeon general and provides specific guidance on how to clean and disinfect each room of an Airbnb listing.

As travelers slowly begin to come back out of their homes after the COVID-19 lockdown, Airbnb has been enacting new rules to prevent the spread of the virus. To prevent house parties in Airbnbs, any guests younger than 25 with negative reviews are not able to book properties close to their homes.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. When in a new city, she's usually out to discover under-the-radar art, culture, and secondhand stores. No matter her location, you can find her on Twitter, on Instagram or at caileyrizzo.com.

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