Airbnb Is Rolling out a New "Cleaning Protocol" in May

Isabel Garcia
Photo credit: Sean Marc Lee/ Airbnb

From House Beautiful

When staying in an Airbnb, cleanliness is always a consideration—and now, the company is taking further measure to ensure proper sanitation. As communities plan to gradually reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, Airbnb is preparing for future travel by rolling out new cleaning guidelines.

In May, the company will be launching a host Cleaning Protocol with guidelines on how to clean every room in a home. The new procedures will include information on COVID-19 prevention like how to properly dispose of masks and gloves and which disinfectants are approved by regulatory authorities. There will also be a required 24 hour waiting period between bookings. The new protocols will include a learning and certification program for hosts to complete, and guests will be able to see which accommodations are included in the program.

If hosts don't want to commit to the Cleaning Protocol, they can create a vacancy period between stays by using a new feature called Booking Buffer. Through the feature, reservations will be automatically blocked for 72 hours, and the accommodations have to be empty during that time frame, with the exception of cleaning activities.

Airbnb developed the new cleaning guidelines with help from companies in the hospitality and medical hygiene sector as well as the former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who has also led the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and responses to Ebola and Zika outbreaks.

"As a society, we need to observe the physical distancing recommendations made by public health officials while finding ways to preserve and strengthen human connection," Dr. Murthy said in a press release. "I’m looking forward to helping the Airbnb community as it develops a health and science based approach for safe travel lodging and experiences. These approaches will continue to evolve as our knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 grows.”

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