Want to house COVID-19 responders? Here’s how
Updated April 28, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts everyday life around the world, our resilient community of Airbnb hosts has been looking for ways to stay involved. Inspired by our host community, we created the Frontline Stays program that lets hosts offer their space to healthcare staff and first responders on the front lines of COVID-19. Individual COVID-19 responders and those working through our business, nonprofit, and government partners will be able to begin booking stays immediately, and we're actively working with global health organizations to introduce new safety and cleaning protocols for the hosts and guests who participate.
To help support our community, we’re answering some of the most common questions we hear from hosts.
Program eligibility and how to participate
How do I get involved?
There are two ways you can help:
- By hosting: You can provide a comfortable and convenient place for COVID-19 responders to stay. We'll ask you to commit to an extensive cleaning and disinfecting checklist to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 before making your space available to them.
- By donating: Your donations will go to nonprofit organizations supporting COVID-19 responders who need to stay near hospitals or stay isolated from their family.
You can sign up for either at Airbnb.com/COVID19relief.
Is my space eligible for the program?
To host COVID-19 responders on Airbnb, your space needs to be an entire place without any other guests present. There may be additional eligibility requirements depending on where you host, which you’ll find at Airbnb.com/COVID19relief.
As a host, do I need to be aware of any special rules?
Hosts who participate in the program (and any property managers or professional cleaners who support them) will need to follow social distancing practices—that means minimizing person-to-person contact during check-in, staying six feet away from guests if in-person contact is required, and not entering the property at any time during a guest’s stay unless required. We strongly recommend offering self check-in when possible. Hosts are also required to wait 72 hours between reservations to properly clean, disinfect, and turn over the space for future guests. There may be additional guidelines depending on where you host, so please follow any requirements published by your local government or health authorities. You’ll find more information at Airbnb.com/COVID19relief.
How should I clean my space before and after hosting a COVID-19 responder?
Out of an abundance of caution, hosts partnering in the Frontline Stays program are required to wait 72 hours between reservations to properly clean and disinfect their space given the elevated risk of exposure. We’ve put together a set of guidelines and best practices for cleaning your space based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It includes recommendations on what supplies to use. Diluted household bleach solutions, cleaning products with at least 70% alcohol, and most common disinfectants registered by the Environmental Protection Agency are believed to be effective against the coronavirus.
Can I block my calendar so that I’m just participating in hosting free Frontline Stays but not receiving inquiries from traditional Airbnb guests?
If you’re an existing host, we don’t have the functionality to block your calendar exclusively for Frontline Stays at this time for an existing listing, but if you are able to host stays for COVID-19 responders for free, you can create a new listing with Open Homes that’s only accessible to COVID-19 responders.
I host in a city that’s under a shelter-in-place order. Am I allowed to enter my space to clean it?
Please check with your local authorities for what is and isn’t allowed under your city’s shelter-in-place order.
Can I opt out if I change my mind?
Yes. You can opt out of the Frontline Stays program anytime in your settings.
Pricing your listing for Frontline Stays
How should I price my space?
Many COVID-19 responders who are signing up through our program are in need of free or deeply discounted listings because they’re paying out of pocket for their stays. If you can offer COVID-19 responders a space for free, please consider doing so.
If you’re not currently hosting on Airbnb but want to provide free stays for COVID-19 responders, sign up for the program here.
If you’re already a host on Airbnb, sign up to host COVID-19 responders here—you’ll be able to set the price at your full rate, at a discount, or for free.
How do I set a discounted rate for COVID-19 responders?
If you’re a host with an active listing on Airbnb, you can set a discount for COVID-19 responders when you sign up to host healthcare staff and first responders. If you don’t have a listing yet but you’d like to help, create a new Airbnb listing first and then sign up to set a discounted rate for responders.
Once you set a discount, we’ll automatically apply it to reservations made by COVID-19 responders only, and you’ll get the price breakdown when you receive the booking request or Instant Book reservation. Please keep in mind that your calendar won’t reflect the discounted price for COVID-19 responders. Any discount you offer for Frontline Stays will not be combined with existing discounts you offer.
Is Airbnb collecting fees on these reservations?
We want every dollar to go toward supporting responders and their hosts, so we’re currently waiving all Airbnb fees for the first 100,000 bookings for COVID-19 responders through this program.
Are Frontline Stays exempt from government rental restrictions?
In some places, Frontline Stays are exempt from COVID-19-related rental restrictions. You can find out more about travel restrictions in your area here. Frontline Stays, including free stays, do still count toward nightly limits and will be subject to the same local laws and regulations as other Airbnb bookings.
You can read more about legal and regulatory issues here. Hosts are responsible for following local laws and regulations.
Welcoming COVID-19 responders
Who can book through this program?
Healthcare staff and first responders must be either affiliated with partner organizations or reviewed by Airbnb prior to check-in. This process, which may include confirmation of licensure status or employment checks, helps confirm a responder’s role is one that contributes to the COVID-19 medical or community response efforts. If Airbnb is unable to confirm a guest's type of employment prior to check-in, the reservation will be canceled.
What control do I have over who can book my space?
If you’re offering free stays, you’ll have the option to accept or decline a reservation just as you would in the standard request-to-book experience. This option applies whether or not you’ve turned on Instant Book—we want hosts who are generous enough to offer their listing for free to benefit from this extra level of control.
If you’re offering your space at full price or at a discounted rate and you’ve turned on Instant Book, eligible guests can book without requesting approval—if you prefer to have more control over who books your space, consider turning off Instant Book while you participate in the program. As always, please be mindful of our nondiscrimination policy. Declining a Frontline Stay will not impact your Superhost status as long as you keep your response time within 24 hours.
What kinds of guests can I expect to host as part of the program?
Tens of thousands of COVID-19 responders around the world are looking for temporary housing right now. Many are nurses and doctors traveling to impacted areas to support local hospital staff, medical staff burdened by long commutes and back-to-back shifts, and relief workers who are exposed to patients every day and are concerned for the health of their families—especially those with elderly parents or infants at home.
How will I know if a guest is a COVID-19 responder?
These guests will have a special COVID-19 designation on their booking requests and confirmations. So whether you have Instant Book turned on or not, you’ll be able to identify COVID-19 responders right away.
Can I message a potential guest to understand why they need a Frontline Stay before accepting a booking?
Airbnb or one of our partner organizations will confirm that each guest is healthcare staff or a first responder before check-in to help ensure they’re assisting in the fight against COVID-19. If you’d like information from your guest directly around their employer, profession, and need for housing as it relates to COVID-19, it’s okay to ask for these details in your message thread before accepting a booking. Many COVID-19 responders are experiencing significant stress, so communicating with empathy and understanding can go a long way. Please also be mindful of our nondiscrimination policy.
What happens if the guest/COVID-19 responder is confirmed to have COVID-19 during their stay and needs to extend their reservation?
Healthcare staff and first responders are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, and they put their health at risk every day. If they contract the virus during their stay, we want housing to be the last thing they have to worry about. By signing up for the Frontline Stays program, hosts agree to allow guests to finish their reservation and/or stay for the length of time they need to heal or self-isolate (that may mean the guest needs to extend their stay).
If you need to host a guest for additional nights or if you have a conflicting reservation, please contact our community support team. We’ll work with hosts to find a solution.
Are there any circumstances where there may be more than one guest per reservation?
While most stays will be for single guests, in some circumstances, COVID-19 responders may need to stay with others. This includes situations where multiple responders wish to stay together to defray costs, or where a responder and their family are seeking accommodations due to a loss of housing.
How long are Frontline Stay requests?
There is no fixed limit for Frontline Stays. COVID-19 responders may need a longer stay given their work assignment. We’re finding most requests are between a few days to a month. As a host, you control the number of nights you make available. If you’re uncomfortable with a request, you’re free to decline it. This will not impact your Superhost status.
Does Airbnb’s Host Guarantee apply to Frontline Stays?
While Host Protection Insurance and the $1,000,000 USD Host Guarantee apply to these stays, there are coverage limits, such as lack of coverage for claims related to transmission of COVID-19 or actions taken in response to COVID-19. Learn more
Should I tell my neighbors that I’ll be hosting a COVID-19 responder?
It’s usually a good idea to let your neighbors know about your hosting activities. This gives them the chance to share any specific concerns or considerations they may have. Learn more about responsible hosting
We know this is a challenging time for so many of you, and we appreciate all the ways that our hosts are supporting COVID-19 responders on the front lines. As always, thanks for being part of the Airbnb community.