Big Airbnb Changes Are Coming, Due To COVID

by SharonKurheg

I will fully admit that, until recently, I wasn’t much of an Airbnb fan. Besides the various problems they’ve had over the years, the idea of staying in someone else’s house just never seemed like a “vacation” to me and I would rather stay at a hotel.

Until COVID hit.

Since then, we’ve stayed at one Airbnb outside of Helen, Georgia (here’s our review), and have another reservation on the books in Tennessee next month.

The reason for our change of heart will be in a future post. But in the midst of our searches for Airbnbs rentals to stay in, I saw that some touted themselves as “enhanced clean” and some were not.

If you read our blog with any regularity, you know that Joe and I are #teamscience #teammask and, of course, #teamclean. So when we started looking at Airbnbs, the words “Enhanced Clean” piqued my interest.

As per Airbnb’s website, the concept of the “Enhanced Clean” program was developed in conjunction with health experts. It relates to how their short term rentals are cleaned, using the 5 steps of preparing, cleaning, sanitizing, checking, and resetting according to their protocols.

Following the “enhanced clean” concept had been optional since COVID-19 hit the U.S.; owners partook if they wished (and then were allowed to include it in their listings), or didn’t, if they preferred not to.

However, there’s now an update to that.

Effective immediately, all Airbnb hosts and guests must now wear masks and practice social distancing while interacting with each other in person.

On top of that, as of November 20th, using Airbnb’s “Enhanced Clean” protocols will now be mandatory for all hosts. The company is serious about this – those who don’t commit to them will not be allowed to advertise on the platform.

Why are they doing this?

Apparently, rentals that are marked as “enhanced clean” tend to be three times more likely to be rented (hey, it got my attention twice so far!). I’m sure this will also help the company if anyone ever attempts an “I got COVID from my Airbnb rental/owner” lawsuit (if it hasn’t happened already).

Of course, I don’t know how anyone could prove they followed Airbnb’s guidelines, short of videotaping themselves doing it. It could all well be “clean theater,” for all we know. That’s why, when we get to our rental in TN; we’ll clean all the touch areas when we arrive (have Clorox wipes, will travel!), just like we did when we stayed at Disney’s DVC unit in Vero Beach not long ago.

Feature Photo (cropped): bradleypjohnson / flickr

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#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


1 comment

bill October 14, 2020 - 2:42 am

It’s theatre, the cost to clean to those standards alone would be ten times what you paid! e.g. wash all curtains between guests…. seriously not going to happen, just Airbnb covering their arses.


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