Airbnb guests may soon have to certify they are free of common COVID-19 symptoms before checking in due to a new tool the company is developing for hosts.
The Health Safety Attestation will be optional, but will allow hosts to ask that guests confirm they don't have any symptoms and haven't been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus.
While the program, initially available in select cities, will focus on exposure and symptoms to start, the company said it could eventually be expanded "as access to testing and vaccination becomes more widespread and may be required by official travel protocols."
It wasn't immediately clear when the program would be available for hosts to use.
"This tool is part of our long term commitment to the health of all of our stakeholders," Airbnb said in its announcement on Friday. "The Health Safety Attestation builds on this foundation to help empower our community to host and travel responsibly, when and where it is allowed, in order to reconnect with family, loved ones or find respite in these difficult times."
Guests who are feeling ill prior to check-in will be able to cancel an upcoming reservation with a full refund in accordance with the company's "extenuating circumstances policy."
The tool will be developed with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and will be based on a similar one rolled out for guests to attest they will abide by local regulations.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced Airbnb to rethink some of its policies and issue safety protocols, including requiring both guests and hosts to wear masks when meeting. The company also released new cleaning guidelines, detailing everything from ventilation practices to how to use disinfectant and custom cleaning checklists.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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