Airbnb launching 24-hour waiting period, new cleaning protocol

The changes begin in May.

–Lionel Bonaventure / AFP/ Getty Images

Airbnb hosts will wait at least 24 hours between renting properties and step up cleaning procedures come May, the company announced Monday.

The company will launch a new “cleaning protocol” next month, according to a press release, which includes methods designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Those methods include hosts and cleaners using personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves as well as using disinfectants approved by regulatory agencies.

Hosts must also wait 24 hours between rentals, the company wrote, “… as a precaution to address the possibility of particles that may remain airborne for a few hours.” If hosts cannot commit to the new cleaning protocol, they can choose to space out bookings even further, according to the company.

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“Hosts can commit to keeping their home empty for a set period in between stays, with no activity other than cleaning,” the company wrote. “Reservations will be automatically blocked during that time frame, currently set at 72 hours. This option includes the same 24 wait period before entering, and hosts should still observe CDC recommendations and other applicable local guidance.”

The guidelines are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general of the United States, and companies that specialize in infection prevention such as Ecolab.

Last month, Airbnb updated its “extenuating circumstances” policy, allowing guests to cancel eligible reservations without charge. After that, Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky sent an e-mail to hosts apologizing for announcing the cancellation policy change without consulting them first.


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