South Africa: South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the country’s move to phase two of lockdown, allowing home-sharing businesses to re-start operation.
Airbnb, in response, partnered with local cleaning companies SweepSouth and Propaclean to improve local sanitation efforts.
South Africa initially reopened accommodation two months ago, however, home-sharing apps due to health department concerns. Airbnb was explicitly named by the president in his announcement.
An Airbnb spokesperson told Business Insider: “This is welcome news for local families who rely on hosting as an economic lifeline and will get South Africans and local economy moving safely again.”
The company is still investigating the updated rules in the country. Home-sharing properties are only allowed to use 50 per cent of the available floor space in a property, with mandated distancing of one and a half metres.
To contribute to its sanitation efforts in the country, Airbnb has partnered with two cleaning firms to train hosts and cleaners. SweepSouth and Propaclean can now be accessed by hosts through the Airbnb platform easily for access to high quality cleaning.
SweepSouth co-founder Aisha Pandor said: “In addition to providing dedicated sanitisation and hospitality protocols training for SweepStars, our online platform has been upgraded to make booking a dedicated option for Airbnb hosts. Guests can now make Airbnb bookings, safe in the knowledge that accommodation serviced by our SweepStars meets with the highest international hospitality cleaning best practice standards.”
According to SweepSouth, the services it offers are beyond standard home-sharing guidelines as well as beyond South African government mandates. Government directives have noted that any accommodation options can operate in the country so long as they follow regulations, placing the burden of safety on providers.
Airbnb confirmed the beginning of its IPO filing this morning, submitting a draft registration to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has not disclosed the number of shares or any financial information around the offering.