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Oct 07, 2020
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Airbnb hosts and guests are now required to adhere to mandatory mask, social distancing and cleanliness guidelines given the ongoing 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 each other, and by Nov. 20, homes need to implement the company's five-step enhanced 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. More details are available here under each step.

Of note: The "enhanced clean" guidance was previously 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 issues.

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.

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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 Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, 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.

Parties have been a problem for the short-term rental company for some time, before and during the coronavirus pandemic.

It's the latest in a series of recent actions the company has taken to curb parties at its rentals. In August, Airbnb announced a global ban on parties and events at its listings, with an occupancy cap of 16 people worldwide. Weeks later, it rolled out an initiative in the U.S., Canada and Australia that blocks guests from booking homes on short notice in cities where they live.
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