Covid cleaning but no Covid

Here in NZ there are no community cases of Covid, no-one wears masks except bus drivers and air passengers. Yet Airbnb is still threatening us if we don’t sign up to its cleaning and mask wearing rules which I won’t be doing, not least because I can’t supervise our cleaners to ensure compliance as well as because they are completely unnecessary.

After telling us for months since Nov 2020 we had to sign up by that date they are now telling us our calendars will be blocked from new bookings within a week. Ho hum, will wait and see. I am ready to switch my two properties to booking dot com if that happens.

I guess the same nonsense is being pushed in other places with zero community Covid and tight border controls…

Where I am, we have have no cases for the last 10 months. We have always had 5 stars for cleaning. I have picked the eyes out of the protocol and are doing that. But tell me, have you heard/ seen anyone actually checking you are doing it?

Re B.con, totally different platform that also wants a COVID clean. You can’t approve guests as it instant booking and cancellation is damn near impossible. Lots of no shows.

Choose your battles!


To be frank, the enhanced cleaning protocol is more of a “protocol” and less of an “enhanced”. If you already clean your listings to a high standard, then there is very little additional work involved. The most onerous task may be cleaning flatware and cookware between guests, especially if you don’t have a dishwasher.

The ventilation time (buffer) is for your protection, so essentially you do what you’re comfortable with.

It takes me around ten minutes to do the “sanitisation” element, maybe a bit less actually, for a 60m2 one bed apartment. An aerosol can of alcohol sanitiser is around €1.50 here, and that’ll be good for a couple of changeovers.

Unless you’re refusing to sign up as a matter of principle, I’d suggest you take a second look through the guide (most of it is just common sense), and look to see how you could adapt the processes you already have in place.

Sadly, this where Airbnb is letting itself down. It’s using a one size fits all protocol, when in reality they should be constantly updating and adapting it based on Continental variations. It took them long enough to remove the curtains and soft furnishings nonsense, a task that I’m sure in reality very few hosts complied with.

The mask issue isn’t a problem for us, it’s the law here and you’re fined if you don’t wear one in public, or when dealing with the public.

Be prepared for a steep learning curve, especially if Airbnb is the only OTA you’ve advertised on. A half way solution may be VRBO, you can opt out of the IB and have request to book, although I’ve no idea if folks use it down under :grinning:



So sign up. Airbnb isn’t going to send the Covid police round to check that every host is wearing a mask.

It has made no difference to my cleaning as everything was sanitised anyway. These ‘new’ cleaning standards are only what most hosts had before. If you can supervise your cleaners to pre-Covid standards then presumably you can still do so?

Presumably, you want to protect your cleaners in case someone who is carrying the virus but without symptoms has been in your rentals? And presumably they want to protect themselves.

However, it’s your choice. You signed up with Airbnb so you should abide by their rulings.


^This. I had no intention of changing my policies as they were already just fine. Just play their silly game, this will be over soon.


I signed up long before Covid. I don’t sign up to any commitments I am not prepared to fulfill. Actually, I find the common response of signing up and then ignoring them quite repugnant.

Yes, we clean to a high standard, always have. No, it is not hospital grade cleaning for what that is worth - not much it seems as hospitals have proved the most dangerously infective places and almost all transmission has been via inhaled droplets rather than touched surfaces.

It is also quite clear that tight border control has been the only effective protection and it does render all the other ineffective measures redundant.

Yes, those factors have restrained me from using bdc till now.

I already use VRBO. They are fine.

And I’m pretty sure that when we all signed up to Airbnb and clicked the ‘I have read the TOS’ that, if we had in fact read them there would be some sort of disclaimer saying that the company reserves the right to change the TOS at any time at their discretion.

A major pandemic cannot be ignored by Airbnb. It would be a very shabby hospitality organisation that did so and it would be criticised worldwide if it didn’t put measures in place.

However, you are naturally free to use whatever online booking service or advertising site that you wish.

Of course a company is entitled to change its rules and equally its clients are entitled to then reject signing up to those changes.

The first issue is whether the same rules are appropriate and/or legal in every country. The secondary issue is whether they are actually enforced or just a sham.

Both of which are issues that you should take up with Airbnb if they concern you so much. I don’t think that there are many, if any, hosts here who could answer those questions for you.

I can understand your refusal to sign up based on your principles, but, as others have said, it really isn’t that much more than before if your standards were at a high level (which you have attested to).
But, agreed, if it makes you feel uncomfortable, then I would leave the platform! I don’t really see any other advise on this forum that will be useful to you…
Oh, and,much congrats to NZ for squashing this bug!!! :+1::+1:

@Alan_Wilkinson I realize how ridiculous and unfair this seems to you. NZ hosts have been complaining about this on other forums for about 6 months now.

Even in places where COVID is very much still a going concern, some of that cleaning protocol is absurd and unnecessary in light of what is now known about transmission factors. So a lot of it is just about Airbnb’s virtue signalling.

But to be fair, NZ isn’t the only place in the world where they have been successful in keeping the infection rate low- some Asian countries and specific areas in other countries have done well due to strict regs and the co-operation of residents. It would be pretty impossible for Airbnb to keep track of where the virus is rampant and where it barely exists at any given time.

My cleaning standards have always been over and above the Covid requirements and I’ve gotten lots of “sparkling clean” accolades. I, too, thought the cleaning requirements - especially since they can’t be checked - were unenforceable but a good idea for hosts who don’t clean to higher standards.

Just do it. Watch the video, check the boxes, and then do your thing. BDC is going to want you to be educated on it as well.

It’s not going to hurt and it will help your business.

I’m too old to be bullied pointlessly by a multi-national. Bye bye Airbnb.

B.con can be very complex to set up payments - do you have credit card facilities?

Good question, I’ll check that out. Will probably use a channel manager now.

They take 15% plus you have a Credit card fee of around 3% and then there is the Genius discount of 10%. Then there are different levels of Genius that get bigger discounts. Their method of marketing is lowest price and easy cancellation.
You cannot vet the guests, it is all instant book. I get the most cancellations from B.con plus fake credit cards and no shows.
You cannot cancel on a guest, if you do you are expected to locate same or better accommodation and if it is more expensive you are expected to pay the difference.
It is not a walk in the park and they are guest centric.

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Friend of mine with a nice little hostel tried BDC out for awhile. No shows, cancellations, and the worst quality guests she’s had in 15 years of owning the place. Icing on the cake was she never got paid for any of the bookings. Left that platform after 3 months.

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I’ve got a couple of friends/family who use it so I’ll chat with them before I ok it.