I couldn’t find any information on this (either here or published on AirBNB), and just had to do this with a guest at the end of April (since Riverside County is banning STRs and hotels ‘until further notice’). Thought I’d share what I got from the AirBNB customer service rep:
Mutual cancellation enables a path for penalty-free full refund cancellations between hosts and guests, due to COVID-19 concerns. I would like to share under this, It allows guests to ask their host to cancel. If the host approves, the refund will be processed without a penalty (for the host) and Airbnb will fully refund the guest (Host will not get any penalties).
The mutual cancellation flow is open to bookings made before 10 March with a check-in date up to 1 June, and new bookings made between 10 March till 1 June 2020 with no check-in date restriction. It allows guests to ask their host to cancel. If the host approves, the refund will be processed without a penalty for the host and Airbnb will full refund the guest.
The the guest must then initiate…
To request a mutual cancellation from your host:
- Go to your “Trips” page
- Click “Cancel reservation”
- Under “Why do you need to cancel?” select the reason: “I don’t want to travel because of >COVID-19 (coronavirus)”
- Complete the request
As far as I could tell, there isn’t an option for us hosts to cancel penalty free (even under the Instant Book “I don’t feel comfortable with this stay” option), which seems a little strange, especially in an area where we’re legally unable to host. Also, AirBNB sent the notification of the legality of hosting in our county to my neighbor, but not myself. So, if you’re in an area with a stay-at-home order, I would double check before hosting that you are, in fact, allowed to host, for whom, and during what period of time.