Nathan Blecharczyk, one of Airbnb's cofounders.
Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP via Getty Images
  • Airbnb is establishing a new, optional cleaning protocol for hosts, with hosts who opt-in required to wait a minimum of 24 hours between bookings at all its properties to limit possible coronavirus transmissions.
  • The protocol will start in May, and will offer guidance on how to keep rooms clean, right down to the specific cleaning products it deems most suitable.
  • CEO Brian Chesky has remained bullish about the firm's business prospects, claiming there will be "a huge amount of business on the other side" once the pandemic has subsided.
  • An Airbnb spokesperson told Business Insider that its guidance represents "the best way for hosts to show guests that they take cleanliness and sanitization seriously."
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.


Airbnb is establishing a new, optional cleaning protocol for hosts, with hosts who opt-in required to wait a minimum of 24 hours between bookings at all its properties to limit possible coronavirus transmissions.

According to a company statement published Monday, the 24-hour rule is recommended by the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC). The protocol will offer detailed guidance on how to keep rooms clean during the coronavirus pandemic, and forms part of a broader cleanliness drive it calls its "enhanced cleaning initiative."

"The guidance will include specific information on COVID-19 prevention, such as 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," Monday's statement read.

"Hosts can commit to keeping their home empty for a set period in between stays, with no activity other than cleaning," it added.

That period is by default set to 72 hours.

In a statement sent to Business Insider, a company spokesperson added: "We have seen signals that the COVID-19 pandemic will shape consumer needs both and preferences in the short and long term, and heard feedback from our host community that they care about and want more resources.

"We believe that enrolling in our enhanced cleaning initiative, with guidance and resources provided by Airbnb, is the best way for hosts to show guests that they take cleanliness and sanitization seriously."

Unsurprisingly, the property-rental giant is currently facing challenging times, having secured $1 billion from investors earlier this month as it attempts to manage a massive, coronavirus-induced reduction in global travel.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has remained bullish about the firm's business prospects. He claimed last month that there'll be "a huge amount of business on the other side" once the pandemic has subsided.

Chesky pointed to Airbnb's fortunes in Puerto Rico after it was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Thousands more property managers on the island were offering accommodations via Airbnb than they were before the storm hit.

It's possible that Airbnb's sudden embrace of detailed guidance is a reaction to criticism it received at the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Last month, the firm was criticised by property hosts who felt its cancellation policies weren't clear amid the inevitable slew of cancellations caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This criticism led it to establish a $250 million fund to cover hosts' costs.

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