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All Airbnb Sites Must Now Adhere to a Mask Rule

Airbnb’s existing “enhanced clean” program will become the standard, in part because internal data found that listings under the program have three times more bookings.

NEW YORK – Airbnb hosts and guests are now required to adhere to mandatory mask, social distancing and cleanliness guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to an announcement from the short-term rental platform, hosts and guests must now wear masks and practice social distancing while interacting with one another, and by Nov. 20, homes need to implement the company’s five-step cleaning process.

Airbnb’s “enhanced clean” program was developed in conjunction with health experts and includes a five-step cleaning procedure as well as social distancing guidelines. The steps are to prepare for safer cleaning, clean dust and debris, sanitize with disinfectant, check frequently touched surfaces and reset the room.

Of note: The “enhanced clean” guidance had been only recommended. Still, hosts needed to follow local government or health authority guidance.

This new mandate applies worldwide except for in Mainland China, which has its own local health and safety programs. The company encourages users to contact community support if they run into any problems.

Hosts will be prompted to commit to these guidelines beginning next week when logging into their Airbnb accounts; they have until Nov. 20 or could be subject to warnings, suspensions and even removal from the site. Guests must agree to the guidelines when booking listings.

The company has approved nearly 1.5 million listings as meeting its enhanced cleaning standards since the program began in June. Airbnb previously issued health and safety guidelines regarding wearing a mask and social distancing, in line with World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

Internal Airbnb data shows that listings enrolled in its enhanced cleaning program have three times more bookings on average than those not in the program.

Short-term rental services like Airbnb have bounced back faster than hotels in terms of popularity during the pandemic thanks to their remote, distanced getaways.

But these sites have other matters to worry about, like a potential Halloween party weekend.

Airbnb is prohibiting guests from booking one-night stays at entire homes on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 in the U.S. and Canada in an attempt to stop parties and aid public health efforts against mass gatherings out of concern they may spread coronavirus.

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