Airbnb Rolls Out Cleaning Protocol That Requires 24-Hour Waiting Period Between Stays
Airbnb is looking to comfort travelers by enhancing its cleaning procedures for its properties.
The company announced on Monday that it’s introducing a new voluntary Cleaning Protocol. The protocol requires a 24-hour waiting period between stays, per CDC recommendations. The company announced an alternative cleaning protocol that requires a 72-hour waiting period between stays. The announcement comes as the travel industry looks for ways to alleviate customer concerns about coronavirus.
Airbnb tested similar policies under its Frontline Stays project. The program allows first responders and medical professionals involved in the coronavirus response to stay at Airbnb properties. The company tested these protocols during those stays, and it is implementing them worldwide.
Cleaning Protocol Program
The new Cleaning Protocol is set to launch in May that’s meant to help hosts and guests feel more comfortable with Airbnb stays. It will include a 40-page manual of information the details the “use of personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves for hosts or their cleaners, as well as disinfectants that are approved by regulatory authorities.” It will require both a learning and certification program for hosts. In addition, guests will be able to see whether hosts participate in the program during the booking process.
The Cleaning Protocol program will require 24 hours between stays, which is based on the voluntary guidance by CDC. The purpose of the 24-hour waiting period is to ensure that airborne virus particles are clear.
In addition, if a host does not participate in the Cleaning Protocol, they can opt-in to a new feature called Booking Buffer. This program automatically blocks stays for a 72-hour window between other stays. Under this program, hosts can only enter the property for the explicit purpose of cleaning.
This is clearly a move Airbnb wants to take to try to dispel fears of getting infected through a stay. Airlines, hotels, and other travel industry companies need to win back consumer confidence. Of course, it’s unknown when people will travel at the rate they did pre-coronavirus. But companies are taking steps now to build up that confidence in their products. They want to be ready when people do hit the road again.
Of course, consumer confidence is important in light of the public’s wariness to travel and the industry’s need to increase demand. Customers should also make themselves aware of Airbnb’s refund policies before booking. It’s also unclear if others in the industry plan to implement similar policies.
Do cleaning policies like this increase your likelihood of booking an Airbnb? Would you look specifically for a host that offers these cleaning procedures?