Airbnb introduces Health Safety Attestation tool

US: Airbnb’s latest voluntary tool will enable hosts to request that guests state they are clear of Covid-19 symptoms and have not knowingly been recently exposed to the virus.

The Health Safety Attestation is being developed in line with guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

In the initial phase, the attestation will focus on symptoms and exposure. More components may be added at a later date following expert advice.

The tool is based on a similar one that was deployed in parts of Europe and the United States last year. Here, travellers provide confirmation that they’ve been abiding by local regulations.

A recent survey revealed that 44 per cent of travellers cited health and safety protocols as a top consideration when deciding where to stay. Consumers are also seeking entire homes, with the CDC recognising that some short-term rentals may offer a safer travel option relative to hotels.

Launching the tool comes off the back of a recent partnership with Dettol maker RB, which has gone live in more than 20 countries including the UK, US, China, Brazil and India. The deal allows Airbnb hosts to buy RB product bundles and reassure guests about safety standards.

Last spring, Airbnb released its Enhance Cleaning initiative to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. It’s a 38-page handbook that provides hosts with “guidance on the use of personal protective equipment [PPE], how to clean every room in a home, what to sanitise and what supplies to have on hand”.

The Health and Safety Attestation builds on these programs that are already in place. 

Airbnb said that it will be sharing further information soon.

The tool will be initially available in select countries or regions. At this time it is a voluntary tool, except for select locations where there may be a government requirement applicable to accommodation providers regarding traveller health.