Airbnb is imparting a worldwide initiative to connect healthcare workers and responders facing COVID-19 on the frontlines with secure and accessible accommodation as they continue to fight to keep the world safe.
The overall objective is to provide housing to 100,000 healthcare workers, relief staff, and first responders across the world.
The company will suspend all fees associated with the stays coordinated and booked through this project.
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“Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak, and we want to help,” Co-founder of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia, said in a statement on the company’s website.
“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 extraordinary times.”
The plan builds off of two smaller projects implemented in Italy and France, where Airbnb stated that they would be providing free accommodation to healthcare professionals and support staff assisting in combatting the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the company’s website, an abundance of hosts has eagerly responded, with 6,000 across both countries already having offered their properties.
To assist healthcare workers and other coronavirus responders in finding suitable accommodation, Airbnb will be coordinating with businesses, nonprofit organizations and government and emergency management services currently supporting these workers.
Hosts have the opportunity to join in and offer their homes through Airbnb’s Open Homes program, established in 2012, to help those in need of emergency housing.
However, if they are unable to provide their accommodation for free, Airbnb will still waive any fees associated with the stay.
“Accommodation for relief and medical workers, who have higher exposure to COVID-19, requires robust preventive practices and stringent safety standards,” the website reads.
“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.”
These measures will be renewed to include any updates from local or national authorities as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The company is also collaborating with experts to provide the best possible services in their approach.
One such expert is Dr. Larry Brilliant, a distinguished epidemiologist and chair of Ending Pandemics.
“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,” Dr. Brilliant said in a statement.
“As medical and relief workers require accommodation for response and preparedness, the Airbnb community is in a unique position to help.”
The initiative imposes multiple safety recommendations to hosts, including listing their entire homes and complying with several safety requirements, such as physical distancing with their guests, extensive cleaning, and permitting 72 hours between stays.
Airbnb will continue to work with leading organizations that have already sent relief teams to assist in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
“Airbnb and Open Homes maintain a unique capability to address housing needs at the most critical of times,” Nancy Aossey, president and CEO of International Medical Corps, said in a statement.
“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.”
The company has also set up a donation system to help fund future stays for these dedicated and selfless workers.
All of the proceeds are directly donated to nonprofits assisting in coronavirus relief efforts.
If you would like to donate, visit airbnb.com/openhomes/covid19relief?donate.