Published on : Friday, April 10, 2020
Leading accommodation providing platform Airbnb has decided to limit its accommodations and bookings in the U.K. All bookings in the U.K will now be limited to “essential stays”. Only keyworkers working to provide any essential services can book rooms and avail accommodation services from Airbnb U.K. The decision has been undertaken in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this week, the global home rental company was criticised with regard to providing accommodations in the U.K According to claims, irrespective of the British government’s lockdown measures and request towards British citizens to remain at home in order to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, Airbnb continued to offer rooms and kept bookings for accommodation open. Nigel Huddleston, Tourism Minister, U.K. mentioned in a statement that some of the offerings made by Airbnb at this hour of crisis are dangerous and irresponsible.
Following these discussions, the company came with the decision of restricting its accommodation option. Moreover, the government rules also state that tourism-related accommodation should only be provided to keyworkers in need of isolation or self-quarantine during the pandemic.
In accordance with the new rules, Airbnb has launched a new programme titled ‘Frontline Stays.’ With this programme keyworkers – such as NHS and social care staff can still book rooms according to their requirement. Transport and food retail employees have also been included in this programme. It is designed to provide up to 100,000 healthcare staff and first-responders with accommodation close to their patients. This would also enable them to maintain a safe distance away from their own families.
The firm has officially mentioned that the latest measure would last until at least April 18. The new action arrives after a tough week for Airbnb. The company was recently forced to raise additional funds as it seeks to safely navigate a fall in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.