Airbnb Releases New Cleaning Protocol Program in Wake of Coronavirus (Video)

The new program has been developed with a former Surgeon General.

As Airbnb wants their guests to feel comfortable and at ease when travel ramps up again following the coronavirus pandemic, the home-sharing company has released a new set of standards when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing.

The Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, developed with former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivik Murthy, includes a certification program for hosts and specifically follows CDC sanitation standards in the wake of COVID-19, according to an announcement on Monday. Users will be able to filter searches for hosts who have earned the certification under the new protocol, aptly named The Cleaning Protocol.

Airbnb room
Courtesy of Airbnb

With guidance of how to specifically clean each room, the protocol also complies with many CDC recommendations including a rule requiring a 24-hour vacancy period between guest reservations.

“Homes have become a place of shelter, and the future of travel will also rely on a new comfort zone, with the privacy and benefits of a home away from home, without crowds or high turnovers,” Greg Greeley, President of Homes at Airbnb said in a statement. “We are working with leading experts in health and hygiene so that our community’s trademark hospitality can incorporate official guidance and fulfill new personal preferences, with hosts and guests uniting to offer, manage and enjoy cleaner accommodations.”

The program — that's also in partnership with EcoLab, a global provider of cleaning and hygiene technologies and service — is set to be released in May.

Airbnb room
Courtesy of Airbnb

Hosts who do not opt into the Cleaning Protocol are able to participate in a “Booking Buffer” program that requires a 72-hour vacancy period after each stay when homes will be empty, except for cleaning.

The cleaning procedures and policies may change in accordance with evolving knowledge and federal guidance in regards to coronavirus. Airbnb hopes that their new cleaning standards will allow "for a controlled approach to reopen travel and reignite tourism economics."

As the world has grappled with coronavirus, Airbnb has contributed to ongoing relief efforts by providing free stays to medical workers all over the world.

Their Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, also comes on the heels of Marriott's “Global Cleanliness Council” that also establishes post-COVID cleaning protocol.

Click here for updates on coronavirus from Travel + Leisure.

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