We weren’t really fans of Airbnb until 2020. In a nutshell, COVID pretty much changed our opinion of using them over hotels (here’s why). So since summer of 2020, we’ve stayed in 3 Airbnbs with another couple who we’ve dubbed our “safe travel buddies”:
- a cabin in the mountains of Helen, GA (August 2020) (and we didn’t even let this event scare us into never renting an Airbnb again LOL!)
- a cabin in the mountains of Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN (November, 2020)
- a townhome in Panama City Beach (June, 2021 – yeah, we’re a little behind in writing that one LOL)
To their credit, Airbnb has stepped up to the plate when it comes to COVID safety:
- Effective October 2020, all hosts needed to participate in Airbnb’s “Enhanced Clean” program
- When cleaning fees for some rentals went through the room, Airbnb launched an investigation
- They made new rules for rental properties during certain times of the year
If nothing else, Airbnb made it clear that they were “on board” in terms of their expectations of COVID safety and sanitation. So how this listing ever made it through is a little mysterious is beyond me. But again, to their credit, the listing disappeared as soon as Airbnb learned about it.
Unfortunately, an Airbnb superhost in Australia apparently didn’t get that particular message.
Soon after they received their first COVID-19 vaccines, Melbourne resident Steve Carey and his partner were interested in booking an Airbnb in the Victoria area.
The Airbnb host asked if they had been vaccinated, and they explained they had just received their first shots. In response, the host told them she couldn’t accept them as guests. The problem wasn’t because they weren’t fully vaccinated yet, but the opposite – because they had gotten their first shot.
Yep, just like the uninformed host in Montana, this host believed that the mRNA protein in the ingredients shed through the vaccinated persons’ skin, breath etc, and will be passed along to non-vaccinated people (this post explains why that’s absolute hogwash).
“I’m not accepting any vaccinated people due to reports of adverse reactions,” the host told Carey. “It’s also transmitting to unvaccinated people and causing them to become unwell. I’m afraid it’s way too experimental at this stage and I need to protect my other guests. I’m so sorry for any inconvenience.”
Carey reported the issue to Airbnb. At first he was told that hosts could refuse guests based on vaccine status because there weren’t rules against doing so under the company’s terms and conditions. However a few days later, after an internal investigation, they changed their stance and the host was suspended.
“Having completed our investigation of this matter, we have suspended the listing in question,” Airbnb’s head of public policy for Australia, Derek Nolan, said. “It’s important that everyone closely follows official health guidance from local authorities as we all continue to do our part to combat Covid-19.”
Carey and his partner found a different Airbnb listing.
H/T: The Guardian
Feature Photo: Piqsels
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary