Airbnb is partnering its hosts to house 100,000 Covid-19 frontline workers – including first respondents, healthcare professionals and relief workers – for free.
Hosts across the world can now offer their homes for the initiative and on a complimentary basis, through Airbnb’s Open Homes platform. If they are not able to do so for free, Airbnb will waive all charges.
Hosts will be asked to comply with a safety protocol that the home sharing platform has developed with leading experts and officials.
Among the measures to be taken are listing entire homes, ensuring at least 72 hours between stays as well as enhanced cleaning. The protocol will be updated in line with latest government requirements, said Airbnb.
Airbnb will then work with government and emergency management agencies, businesses and nonprofits to match first responders with such accommodation near their workplaces.
One of the organisations that will benefit from Airbnb’s initiative is the International Medical Corps, with frontline health workers and first responders stationed across the world.
With accommodation taken care of, the organisation can direct its funds towards providing medical care, offering mental health services and supporting other Covid-19 related initiatives, said Nancy Aossey, president and CEO, International Medical Corps.
International Federation of the Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee and Red Crescent Societies are some of the other organisations that Airbnb would be working with to provide accommodation for first responders.
Earlier, on March 17, a pilot version of this initiative was jointly launched in France by the French government and Airbnb, where local medical support staff were offered free accommodation in Airbnb homes. The pilot received a heartening response from close to 4,000 hosts.