UPDATED: UK Airbnb Bookings Restricted to Essential Travel for Key Workers
UPDATED: We have extended the temporary limit on bookings for UK stays that take place on or before 3 July 2020 and will continue to review this going forward – listings that are visible on the platform will not be bookable during that time. As before, bookings that are part of our Frontline Stays programme will still be allowed.
- Airbnb temporarily limits all new UK bookings for stays up to at least 18 April 2020 to key workers and essential stays. Listings that are visible on the platform will not be open for stays during that time.
- Move builds on blocking private room stays and switching off ‘instant book’ for whole properties last week.
- Bookings made as part of the Frontline Stays programme – offering places to stay for NHS staff, healthcare professionals and other key workers – will continue.
From today, UK Airbnb bookings will be restricted to key workers and other essential stays in line with government guidance. The platform will temporarily block all calendars from receiving new bookings for stays up to at least 18 April, unless they are for key workers or other types of essential stays. Airbnb will review the temporary block on calendars on 18 April in line with the government’s guidance, and on a regular basis after that.
Thousands of hosts in the UK have opted to provide accommodation for the Frontline Stays programme. This includes free stays for NHS staff and paid or subsidised stays for other key workers that are on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and that are exempt from the government’s restrictions.
Hosts across the UK are playing a vital role in housing NHS and other medical staff as they continue their critical work. We’ve also heard from hosts who want to help others follow the rules and keep people safe during these unprecedented times. Restricting bookings on Airbnb to key workers and other essential stays will allow hosts to continue supporting frontline workers while following government guidance.
Patrick Robinson, Director of Public Policy at Airbnb
Last week, Airbnb blocked private room bookings and temporarily switched off the ‘instant book’ feature for whole home properties. The platform has also been offering guests refunds through its Extenuating Circumstances policy to ensure that no guest feels the need to travel through a commitment to their booking.
Bookings made as part of the Frontline Stays programme, offering places to stay for NHS staff and medical professionals, will continue. Airbnb is also working to ensure that prospective guests with legitimate exemptions for travel can continue to have access to the platform.
The changes will take place on the platform at 9am BST on Thursday 9th April.
More on the UK Government’s advice for accommodation providers on exempt guests here.
More on Airbnb hosts offering places to stay for NHS staff and medical professionals here.
More on Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy here and support measures for hosts here.
More on how Airbnb is acting on listings that are marketed as escaping COVID-19 here.