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    Answers to your hosting questions about COVID-19

    Answers to your hosting questions about COVID-19

    Here’s what our cancellation policies and programs mean for you.
    By Airbnb on 5 Mar 2020
    6 min read
    Updated 11 Jun 2020

    We know there’s a lot of uncertainty around COVID-19 and whether or not it will impact you and your hosting business. To help support our global community, we’re tracking your questions and answering some of them here. We’ll keep updating this page as the situation evolves and as more answers become available.

    What is the extenuating circumstances policy, and which reservations are eligible?
    Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy gives guests and hosts the option to cancel without charges if they’re impacted by things like serious injury or illness, natural disasters, travel restrictions, and other unforeseen events. In response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, this policy may apply to qualifying* reservations booked on or before March 14. For the latest information on the policy, including eligible dates and locations, please refer to our Help Center article—we recommend checking in every two weeks for updates.

    *This does not apply to domestic travel in mainland China. Please check here for more information. Luxe or Luxury Retreats reservations are covered under the Luxe guest refund policy.

    What is Airbnb doing to lessen the impact of cancellations on hosts?
    We’re investing $250 million USD to share in the cost of guest cancellations due to COVID-19. For eligible cancellations under our extenuating circumstances policy, we’ll pay 25% of what you would’ve received for a cancellation based on your cancellation policy. For example, if you would’ve received $400 USD through your normal cancellation policy, we'll pay you 25% of that—or $100 USD. 

    As a reminder, support payments will only apply to canceled reservations booked before March 15 with check-in dates between March 14 and May 31. You can learn more at Airbnb.com/250MSupport. And you can go to your reservations dashboard for details on your cancellations, including info about any support payments.

    Why are hosts in mainland China not eligible for payments from the $250 million USD fund?
    Because of the way our business is structured as an independent unit in mainland China, we have a $10 million USD support fund to assist our community in mainland China directly.

    A guest just canceled on me. What happens now?
    We know cancellations can be upsetting, even when they happen for an understandable reason. Keep in mind that guests who cancel their reservation under our extenuating circumstances policy have been impacted themselves and by canceling are helping to protect the well-being of our entire community. If your guests cancel their reservation through this policy, they'll have the option to get a full refund or Airbnb travel credit (where available). We’ll notify you and automatically unblock the dates on your calendar so that you can host other guests, and we won’t collect any fees for the canceled reservation.

    What should I do if I’m uncomfortable hosting a guest?
    If you’re worried about hosting a guest during these times of uncertainty, we understand your concern. Before you cancel a reservation, please keep in mind that Airbnb has a nondiscrimination policy. Remember to treat each traveler with inclusion and respect, which means making sure that you're holding each reservation—and decision about cancellation—to the same standards. We’ve outlined some guidelines and questions you can consider asking to help you get the information you need.

    Is there anything I can do to minimize the impact on my hosting business?
    While many travelers are choosing to stay home during this uncertain time, some are still considering local stays and future travel. To meet those guests’ needs, we’re working to highlight listings with flexible cancellation policies. We’ve also put together some tips to help you minimize the impact of COVID-19 on your hosting business, and we’ll keep working on ways to support you during this difficult time.

    How will Airbnb support hosts who offer more flexible stays?
    We’ve developed a suite of tools and programs to help both hosts and guests navigate uncertainty and support more flexible travel plans.

    • We’ve made it easier for guests to find listings with flexible cancellation policies—like a new filter that makes it easy to search for those listings.
    • We've also rolled out a tool that will make it easy for hosts to refund guests who need to cancel.

    Learn more about offering flexible cancellations

    Is Airbnb collecting fees on canceled reservations?
    When reservations are canceled under the extenuating circumstances policy, guests can choose between a full refund or a travel credit (where available) in an amount that includes our fees. And we won’t be imposing any cancellation charges on hosts who have to cancel eligible reservations. 

    We also want to clarify that our service fees will be refunded in full or provided as a travel credit for every covered cancellation.

    I'm an Airbnb Experiences host. What do I need to know?
    In most places, we've paused in-person experiences starting March 18 through at least June 28, 2020. We made this difficult decision because experiences are designed to bring people together, and health organizations around the world have advised against this kind of interaction as one of the best ways to protect communities. We’ve begun reopening in-person experiences in some countries. We’ll consider reopening in-person experiences in a country or region once it has reached a period of stabilization and legal restrictions are lifted.

    In the meantime, we’re excited to have launched Online Experiences, a new way for hosts to earn money, connect with others, and share their passions. You can apply to host an Online Experience right away—and we’ll provide resources to help you get started. Learn more at Airbnb.com/OnlineHost

    How can I help prevent the spread of illnesses like COVID-19?
    Enhancing your cleaning routine is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your guests from illness. We recently launched an expert-backed enhanced cleaning protocol with step-by-step instructions to help take the guesswork out of cleaning—and help protect you and your guests—during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. We started with hosts in the U.S. and rolled out access to other countries and regions a few weeks later. Stay tuned as we work to make the protocol available in most of the regions where you host. Learn more at Airbnb.com/cleaningresources

    Events are getting canceled. Will these reservations be covered by Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy?
    We know that many of our travelers book places to stay on Airbnb for events like Coachella, SXSW, Mobile World Congress, and others. If an event has been canceled and your reservation is not covered by our extenuating circumstances policy, we’re encouraging guests to check the cancellation policy on their reservation and reach out to hosts to discuss options. 

    We’ve rolled out a tool so hosts can refund reservations like these that aren’t covered under our extenuating circumstances policy.

    I host an Airbnb Luxe or Luxury Retreats property. Does the extenuating circumstances policy apply to me?
    No. Our extenuating circumstances policy doesn’t apply to Airbnb Luxe or Luxury Retreats reservations, which are subject to a separate Luxe guest refund policy.

    I need help. Where can I find resources online? 
    We know it can be frustrating when you can’t get an answer right away. We’re committed to helping you get the support and information you need, which is why we’ve launched Airbnb.com/COVID, in addition to continuing to answer your calls, chats, and emails as quickly as possible.

    Many common issues can be resolved online, especially if you’re dealing with a reservation that falls under our extenuating circumstances policy. You can also head to our Help Center to find more answers. Many of you have also been sharing your own tips and support in our Community Center.

    I still have questions. Who should I contact?
    We'd like to encourage you to reach out to our community support team with questions or to get help with canceling reservations. We appreciate your patience as we prioritize those needing immediate support and ask that you only reach out to us if your reservation is in the next 72 hours. If you have an urgent question, please also check Airbnb.com/COVID or the Help Center for answers.

    We know how disruptive something like COVID-19 can be to your business, and we’re here to help. Thanks for working together with us to protect the safety and well-being of our community.

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Airbnb
    5 Mar 2020
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