SAN FRANCISCO, March 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Airbnb is
announcing a new global initiative to help connect those responding
to the COVID-19 pandemic with safe and convenient places to stay
while they carry out their critical work. The company's goal is to
help house 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers, and
first responders around the world. Airbnb will waive all fees for
stays arranged through this initiative.
"Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving
support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help," says
Airbnb's Co-founder Joe Gebbia.
"We've heard from countless hosts around the world who want to
provide a comforting home to heroic first responders. We are
connecting our nonprofit partners, government agencies and others
with our incredible host community to work together in these
This initiative builds on two pilot programs in Italy and France where Airbnb announced that doctors,
nurses, caregivers and other medical support staff who are
responding to the outbreak can access free accommodation through
Airbnb. The Airbnb community has already responded to the call:
nearly 6,000 hosts across both Italy and France have already offered their homes.
To enable healthcare providers and other COVID-19 responders to
find housing, Airbnb will be working with businesses, nonprofits
and government & emergency management agencies supporting these
responders. Hosts can opt into the program and have the option of
opening their homes for free through Airbnb's Open Homes platform,
created in 2012 to meet the needs of people requiring emergency
housing. If hosts are not able to host for free, Airbnb will still
waive all fees on the stay.
Accommodation for relief and medical workers, who have higher
exposition to COVID-19, requires robust preventive practices and
stringent safety standards. Airbnb takes the health and safety of
its community very seriously and has worked with leading experts
and officials to develop a protocol for hosts who support this
collective health effort. The protocol will be updated to
incorporate new requirements from local and national authorities
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are
working with experts to continuously enhance our approach,
including Dr. Larry Brilliant, a
renowned epidemiologist and Chair of Ending Pandemics. Dr.
Brilliant will also involve several nationally recognized experts
from his consultancy, Pandefense, in this effort.
"While science is still developing around COVID-19, and there is
a lot we do not know, we have provided guidance to support the
Airbnb community participating in immediate efforts with
governments and institutions. As medical and relief workers require
accommodation for response and preparedness, the Airbnb community
is in a unique position to help. I applaud Airbnb for working under
conditions of such uncertainty to provide housing for first
responders and medical staff working in this pandemic. We are
working to provide clear communication and resources, based on
rapidly evolving knowledge about this novel virus and best
practices on sanitation, in order to help keep communities as safe
as possible," said Dr. Larry
Examples of safe hosting recommendations include listing entire
homes and agreeing to a number of safety requirements including
enhanced cleaning, social distancing with their guests, and
allowing 72 hours between stays. Airbnb's partners or affiliates
will ensure that stays are COVID-19 related and responders are
familiar with safety protocols. To learn more and to open their
homes, hosts can go to airbnb.com/covid19relief.
Through this initiative, Airbnb will be working with leading
organizations who have already deployed thousands of relief workers
to help fight the pandemic. The International Federation of Red
Cross and Red Crescent Societies are coordinating their network of
millions of volunteers in 192 countries to respond to the outbreak.
The International Rescue Committee has launched coronavirus
preparedness and response in over 40 countries, and International
Medical Corps is working with its approximately 7,000 staff
globally to provide medical supplies, training and triage and
treatment services during the outbreak.
"Airbnb and Open Homes maintain a unique capability to address
housing needs at the most critical of times," said Nancy Aossey, President and CEO of International
Medical Corps. "This commitment will help International Medical
Corps house our frontline health workers and first responders as
our teams address the global COVID-19 pandemic, reaching hot-spot
and low-resource areas in the US and around the world. Thanks to
this timely and generous support, we can direct more funds to
provide medical care, medical supplies, mental health services, and
training and education on infection prevention and control while
helping ensure our staff members have a place to go home to."
Airbnb has also launched a donation tool to help power even more
stays for relief workers while they do their critical work. 100
percent of proceeds will go directly to nonprofits helping with
COVID-19 relief efforts. To donate, go to
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SOURCE Airbnb, Inc.