Airbnbs Are About to Get a Lot Cleaner with Shiny New Guidelines


In the current climate, Airbnb is taking increased precautions against COVID-19 by announcing strict new cleaning measures for its properties.

Airbnb is working with trusted health professionals to develop its new Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, ensuring both a host’s own safety as well as the safety of those staying in their properties.

“As governments handle the health crisis and begin to review restrictions in advance of reopening their communities for travel, at Airbnb we are working hard to support our community and prepare for the future of travel, focused on health and prevention,” Airbnb said in a release.

“We are announcing our Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, which includes the first overarching standardised protocol for cleaning and sanitisation in the home sharing industry.”

The new protocol will be informed by published standards from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the advice from a team of medical professionals including a former US Surgeon General and leading experts in hospitality and medical hygiene.

Coming into effect from May, the guidelines include a learning and certification program to educate and empower our host community.

The new guidelines will include step-by-step instructions on the best ways to clean each room, as well as advice on the personal protective equipment that should be worn, and the approved disinfectants that need to be used.

What’s more, a 24-hour wait period before cleaning will now be enforced “as a precaution to address the possibility of particles that may remain airborne for a few hours”.

If hosts are unable to commit to the new measures of the Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, they can instead opt into the new ‘Booking Buffer’, which creates a vacancy period of 72 hours between stays.

In those three days, no activity other than cleaning can take place. Reservations will be automatically blocked on the platform in this time, and that same 24-hour waiting period before host cleaning will apply.

Airbnb already has a strong track record for cleanliness and hygiene, with 94% of reviews on the platform showing 4 or 5 stars for cleanliness, but these measures can only do well to increase those numbers and improve user safety in what has been a very tricky and troubling time.

Travel restrictions for internal trips within NSW are lifting on June 1, so when the time comes to book your first post-iso escape (if you haven’t already) you will now be able to identify properties that are taking place in the initiative, to ensure further peace of mind in your stay.

The current health crisis is evolving rapidly. If you suspect you or a family member has coronavirus you should call (not visit) your GP or ring the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

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