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    Coming soon: A new Enhanced Cleaning Initiative for hosts

    Coming soon: A new Enhanced Cleaning Initiative for hosts

    We’re partnering with experts to create detailed guidelines and other resources.
    By Airbnb on Apr 24, 2020
    6 min read

    Highlights

    • An expert-backed cleaning protocol with step-by-step guidelines will be available soon

    • Hosts who follow the new guidelines will get a special call-out on their listings

    • For hosts who can’t commit to the protocol, we’re offering an optional 72-hour booking buffer between stays

    Updated May 5, 2020

    Now more than ever, guests care about cleanliness—from the supplies you’re using to the extra steps you’re taking, they want to know what you’re doing to help keep them safe. And they’re not the only ones. Government officials and policymakers are focusing on cleaning practices like never before in an effort to protect their communities once businesses open up again and travel resumes.

    It’s no wonder so many of you have been asking for more guidance around how to clean and sanitize your spaces. It was one of the top requests in our recent listening sessions with hosts from around the world, and cleaning tips continue to be a popular topic in Community Center discussions and here in our Resource Center.

    So we’re excited to share that we’ll be rolling out the Airbnb Enhanced Cleaning Initiative next month to help hosts clean more effectively during COVID-19 and beyond. To support the initiative, we’re developing a new cleaning protocol with guidance from Dr. Vivek Murthy, the former U.S. Surgeon General, and from companies that helped set that standards for cleanliness in the hospitality and medical hygiene industry. The protocol will also be informed by recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    We know you might have some questions about the new program, and we’ve done our best to answer them here.

    What does the cleaning protocol mean for hosts?
    Hosts will have access to new step-by-step cleaning guidelines, which will cover recommended supplies, sanitization techniques, room-by-room instructions, and more. We’ll also make it easier for hosts to let guests know that they’ve committed to enhanced cleaning practices. With this protocol, we’re hoping to take some of the guesswork out of cleaning, while helping to protect you and your guests.

    When will the protocol be available in my region?
    It’ll be available in the U.S. in May, and we’ll be rolling it out to other countries soon after. We want these resources to be as useful as possible to hosts around the world, so we’ll be adapting some of the guidelines and recommendations to meet the unique needs of each region. That’s going to take a bit of time, but we hope to have it available in most of the regions where you host over the coming weeks.

    How can I access the new information?
    Once it’s ready, the new cleaning protocol will be available to hosts in the Resource Center

    How will guests know that I’ve committed to the cleaning protocol?
    Hosts who agree to adopt the new protocol will get a special call-out on their listing page, so guests will know they’ve committed to following more rigorous cleaning and sanitization practices.

    How will Airbnb verify that hosts are following the cleaning protocol?
    Hosts who want to participate will be asked to attest to following specific guidance outlined in the cleaning protocol. Before you can receive a special call-out on your listing page, you'll be asked to take a short quiz to show that you've read through, understand, and are committed to following the protocol outlined in the handbook.

    Our review system offers additional checks and balances—if a host isn’t following the guidelines, guests may bring it up in their reviews of the space.

    If I follow the cleaning protocol, it’s going to cost more to clean. How will I pay for that?
    As a host, you have the option to add a cleaning fee to your listing, and what you charge is completely up to you. Adding a cleaning fee—or adjusting yours if you have one already—can help offset any additional costs of following the protocol.

    I’ve hired a professional cleaner. Can I still participate?
    Yes, as long as you’ve shared the resources with your professional cleaner, and they’ve agreed to follow the standards. You’ll need to agree to each step on behalf of your cleaner, and take responsibility that they’re abiding by the protocol.

    Does the new cleaning program require a 24-hour or 72-hour booking buffer between stays?
    That depends on which part of the program you choose to opt in to. Hosts who adopt the new cleaning protocol will need to agree to a minimum 24-hour buffer after a guest checks out—and this will happen automatically through the platform. Once they attest to follow the cleaning protocol, we’ll hold 24 hours between each new reservation.

    Hosts who want to participate in the program but can’t commit to the cleaning protocol can opt in to a 72-hour booking buffer between stays (more on that below). Developed with guidance from experts, these booking buffers aim to reduce the risk of potential exposure to the coronavirus, which can remain in the air or on surfaces.

    I’m not sure I can commit to the cleaning protocol. What else can I do to help guests feel more comfortable in my space?
    Although we encourage all hosts to follow the new standards, we understand that some of you may not be able to complete all of the steps outlined in the protocol—for example, if you can’t get access to necessary cleaning products, which may be difficult to come by in some communities. So as part of the program, we’re offering hosts another option to help reassure guests. We've created a new tool that makes it easier to leave a vacancy period between guests. Simply opt in to the tool, and we'll automatically create a 72-hour booking buffer after each stay. And like with the cleaning protocol, guests will be able to easily identify hosts who are offering a booking buffer. Please keep in mind that even hosts who opt in to the 72-hour booking buffer should take care to clean thoroughly between guests.

    I want to participate, but I already have reservations with shorter turnover times. What will happen to those?
    We don’t want the program to impact your existing reservations—so if you have upcoming stays with fewer than 24 or 72 hours between them (depending on which part of the program you’re participating in), you’ll need to wait until those are completed before you can opt in. In the meantime, you can still follow the new cleaning guidelines and let guests know about the extra steps you’re taking.

    What if a host lists their space on another platform? How are you making sure they adhere to the booking buffers?
    Airbnb is built on trust, and we expect hosts who opt in to the program to comply with their attestation and commitment. We are working on updating our policy and enforcement standards, and we may eventually implement a system to monitor cross-listed homes in this program.

    I’m a private room host. Can I participate in the program?
    The new cleaning program encourages some measure of physical distancing. Since this is hard to do in a shared setting, private room listings aren’t currently eligible to get the cleaning protocol call-out or to be opted in to the booking buffer program. Private room hosts will still have access to the cleaning protocol and can choose to incorporate the recommendations into their cleaning routine.

    Did Airbnb share news about the cleaning program with the media before sharing it with hosts?
    No. We published an announcement in our Resource Center at the same time as we shared it with the press. We want to make sure our community hears from us when there is an important update, which is why we created Airbnb.com/COVID. Please bookmark that page and check back regularly for the latest updates.

    We look forward to sharing the new resources with you over the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can refer to our cleaning guidelines based on recommendations from the CDC. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and cleaning best practices, visit the CDC website, and please be sure to review any requirements published by your local government or health authorities.

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Highlights

    • An expert-backed cleaning protocol with step-by-step guidelines will be available soon

    • Hosts who follow the new guidelines will get a special call-out on their listings

    • For hosts who can’t commit to the protocol, we’re offering an optional 72-hour booking buffer between stays

    Airbnb
    Apr 24, 2020
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