Answers to your hosting questions about COVID-19 in South Africa

We know this has been a difficult time for hosts on Airbnb, and we’re working around the clock to give you the support you need. To help support our community, we’re tracking your questions and answering some of them here. We’ll keep updating this page as the situation evolves and more answers become available.

  1. If I have a guest that was staying in my listing prior to the lockdown, can they continue to stay? 
  • All hosts with international guests still staying at their listings should urgently contact the Department of Health via email at They must supply the Department with the following details: name of guest, a contact number and country of origin. The Department will then get in touch with guests to explain further steps.
  • All South Africans living in accommodation establishments have been advised to return to their main residences prior to the lockdown. Find the latest advisories from the South African government here.
  • While all international flights into and out of South Africa have been cancelled, there are a number of embassies working on repatriating their citizens during the lockdown. We encourage you to ask your guest(s) to contact their embassy as soon as possible. A list of embassies and contact details can be found here.
  • Guests will be required to follow the rules of the lockdown until departure. Guests will be permitted to check-out only to go to the airport. Note: please contact your embassy for details of charter flights for repatriation and the procedures for travelling to the airport.
  1. Can I accept new bookings during the lockdown period? 
  • The South African government has urged all guests to return to their primary residences prior to the lockdown. The only exceptions according to the regulations can be found here, and include stays for quarantine, isolation or to house essential workers. The Ministerial directions for stays of this kind can be found here.
  1. What happens if the lockdown is extended and my guests are still not able to go home? 
  • Understanding the fear of international guests stranded in a country that is not their own, we encourage all hosts to ensure international guests contact their embassies for advice and assistance. There are a number of embassies working on repatriating their citizens during the lockdown.
  • The health and safety of guests and hosts are our priority during this time and we urge all hosts to bear this in mind when making any decisions. 
  • We encourage you to extend the reservation and try to negotiate a fair price with your guests that is within their means and encourage them to reach out to their insurance provider to see if they can claim for the extra days that they need to stay. 
  1.  How can I offer my home to doctors or nurses? 
  • Through the recently launched Frontline Stays initiative, Airbnb has partnered with hosts in other affected countries to connect healthcare providers, relief workers, and first responders with clean, convenient places to stay that allow them to be close to their patients — and safely distanced from their own families. 
  • We will keep you updated on a potential programme launch in South Africa and thank you for your generosity during this time.
  1. Can I continue to provide ancillary services to listings during the lockdown?
  • All accommodation establishments will be treated as residential accommodation for the duration of the lockdown. Accordingly, you will not be able to provide ancillary services, as all staff must be at their homes during the lockdown. Nevertheless, some exceptions might apply as mentioned above.
  1. Will I lose my status as a Superhost if I cancel an eligible reservation?
  1. I’m an Airbnb Experiences host. What do I need to know?
  • We’re pausing all in-person Experiences through at least April 30, 2020. We made this difficult decision because Experiences are designed to bring people together, and health organisations around the world have advised against this kind of interaction as one of the best ways to protect communities. Read this Help Center article for the latest updates.
  1. A guest staying in my listing notified me that they tested positive for COVID 19. What do I do? 
  • Please ask your guest to contact the Department of Health’s Emergency Hotline: + 27 (0)800 029 999 or the WhatsApp Support Line: + 27 (0)600-123456.
  1.  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, in addition to continuing to answer your calls, chats, and emails as quickly as possible.