Airbnb Now Has a Policy for Coronavirus-Related Cancellations

The novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world, causing people to postpone or cancel travel plans, especially to and from areas where the outbreak is severe. So what happens if guests need to cancel an Airbnb reservation due to COVID-19?

a close up of a sign: To accommodate the disruptions in travel caused by the novel coronavirus, Airbnb has a new policy for coronavirus-related cancellations.

Typically, Airbnb hosts have the option to choose from six types of cancellation policies, ranging from flexible to strict. The “Flexible” policy allows guests to cancel until 14 days before check-in for a full refund. For the “Super Strict 60 Days” policy, guests can cancel at least 60 days before check-in, but they’ll only get a 50% refund of the nightly rate and cleaning fee. And they won’t get a refund for the service fee.

To prioritize the safety of its guests and hosts, Airbnb recently announced in a statement that it has activated its “extenuating circumstances policy” to offer impacted hosts and guests impacted by coronavirus the option of cancelling eligible reservations without charge. The extenuating circumstances policy usually covers cancellations due to death, unexpected illness or injury, government-mandated obligations, natural disasters, and transportation disruptions or cancellations, and unforeseen property damage.

While the extenuating circumstances policy also covers cancellations from epidemic disease or illness and travel restrictions imposed by a government, law enforcement agency, or military, Airbnb has a separate page, detailing which areas free coronavirus-related cancellations applies to. Right now, the policy covers reservations made in mainland China and South Korea. It also applies to guests traveling from those countries to Airbnbs in other destinations.

Other global scenarios include: having to comply with disease control restrictions implemented by government or healthy authorities, having to perform medical duties in connection with coronavirus, transportation cancellations due to coronavirus, and, of course, getting diagnosed with COVID-19.

According to Airbnb’s statement, the policy is being updated regularly, observing recommendations from the World Health Organization as well as government and health authorities. Track the cancellation policy updates here.

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