Further to calls by Janet Finch-Saunders, Assembly Member for Aberconwy, for online facilitators of tourism to prevent bookings from holidaymakers throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Airbnb has taken positive action.
Having been contacted by the Public Policy Manager, UK & Ireland, Airbnb, the Assembly Member for Aberconwy now understands that:
- From 9am today (9.04/2020) it will not be possible to book a stay on Airbnb in the United Kingdom during the current lockdown period;
- It will not be possible to book a stay in the United Kingdom that starts on or before 18 April 2020 (this will continue to be reviewed);
- They have emailed all guests with existing bookings, reiterating government guidance and telling them not to travel unless it is essential;
- Guests with bookings made before 14 March that fall between that date and 31 May are able to claim a full refund through the cancellation policy;
- If concerns are raised with Airbnb about hosts in our community suspected of breaching the current emergency regulations, Airbnb will confirm with hosts that the stay fits an essential purpose.
- Bookings made as part of the Frontline Stays programme - free stays for NHS and other medical staff and paid or subsidised stays for other essential stays and key workers will not be affected by these changes.
Commenting after being notified of the major change by Airbnb, Janet said:
“I would like to thank Airbnb for listening to the numerous concerns raised by me and individuals across Wales.
“Whilst I would have liked to have seen today’s measures introduced sooner, I am pleased that it will no longer be possible to book a stay on Airbnb during the current lockdown.
“The Easter break is historically one of the busiest times for the tourist sector in Aberconwy, with thousands choosing to explore and enjoy our breath-taking area. However, not this time.
“To protect the vulnerable and our health and care sector, visitors must stay away and in their own home areas.
“Airbnb’s decision is a big boost to the Wales wide wish for tourists to visit another time.
“There should now be even less of a chance of individuals flouting expert advice by coming to North Wales”.