Airbnb: Listen to police and stay home

Australians are being warned by Airbnb to closely follow police directions and stay home this weekend to both slow the spread of COVID-19 and avoid hefty penalties.

Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb’s Country Manager for Australia, said: “If you’re thinking of an Easter getaway this long weekend, change your plans immediately and stay home.

“Anyone travelling for non-essential reasons is not only ignoring government advice and putting the community at risk, they’re risking big fines and even prison time in many states. Airbnb is extremely serious about supporting efforts to combat COVID-19. We’re committed to cooperating with police in their investigations into anyone flouting these important rules, in line with our Terms of Service.

“We won’t hesitate to take action – such as removal from our platform – against anyone who violates the policies we’ve put in place to help ensure the public’s safety.

“Our message could not be clearer; if you’re not travelling for an essential reason, stay home. 

“When the time is right, we look forward to working with our community to help local economies begin their recovery but for now, people need to avoid leisure trips and travel only for essential purposes.”

Airbnb has a dedicated law enforcement support team who diligently support local police consistent with our Terms of Service. That team’s online law enforcement portal provides a direct and secure channel for submitting and tracking the progress of valid legal requests for information. 

Airbnb will be cooperating with police in any investigations relating to non-essential travel, consistent with our Terms of Service.

We have also directly communicated with both Australian hosts and guests to remind them that they must follow guidance from local authorities to avoid non-essential travel, and that failing to do so in certain states can result in hefty fines and even imprisonment. 

Additionally, Airbnb has also been actively discouraging hosts from inappropriately marketing listings using terms related to COVID-19, such as ‘quarantine’. These hosts are being asked to update their listings accordingly and Airbnb may suspend or remove listings that have inappropriate titles or listing content.