Is It Safe to Rent an Airbnb During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Even if the home appears to be clean, wiping down any "high touch" areas with a disinfectant is a good idea. This includes things like counters, light switches, and doorknobs. Norton suggests washing dishes and cooking tools, too.

Airbnb recently announced a more stringent cleaning protocol for its hosts. And if hosts or their cleaners can't abide by the new rules they must have a three-day "buffer" period between guests.

Dr. Andrew Janowski, an instructor of pediatric infectious diseases at Washington University School of Medicine/St Louis Children's Hospital, explained to Today that time may be the most important factor for renters' safety.

“From the study that evaluated how long the virus persists on surfaces, we know the virus can be stable on some surfaces for up to three days. The longer the home has been unoccupied, the better," he told the outlet.

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Along with the rest of the travel industry, Airbnb has taken a major hit during the pandemic.

Since the widespread lockdown began it has eased its cancelation policies, and been helping house frontline workers in apartments and homes listed on their site that are sitting empty, and selling "online experiences."

But the tech company laid off a quarter of its workforce in May. In that announcement, Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky acknowledged, "Travel in this new world will look different . . . People will want options that are closer to home, safer, and more affordable."

Now, it appears there's an uptick on the horizon, and people are making plans for this summer. A survey by travel site The Points Guy, found that 31% of Americans are ready to travel this summer, but 13% were holding off until "late in the season."

Internal Airbnb data shows "early signs of future trip planning" the company shared in a blog post. They've seen more searches and wish lists created by travelers who they hope are "ready to reconnect with each other and the world."

Though isolation seems to be appealing to many: Cabins are the second most popular home type users have been searching, and 35% of people were looking for rentals for just two guests.

Those who haven't yet booked their stay have indicated what they're planning. "Summer 2020" was the most common phrase in users' wishlists created in the last 60 days.

A survey conducted by Guesty, a software used by short-term property management companies with listings across Airbnb, VRBO and is a little more modest in their predictions. It found property owners w a 76% increase in cancellations for spring and summer, but less than 10% for fall.

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