Face masks are compulsory

I’ve just searched “ face masks”
As far as I can see there’s no discussion on how hosts feel about this “mandatory” rule to do so after the 20th November. Or maybe I’ve missed a thread?

I find it an intrusion into my personal space and abhor it. Surprised we’ve not shared views?


IMHO most hosts feel it is to their benefit to wear the required PPE when interacting closely with guests. Your personal feelings don’t matter. Either follow the rules or quit the platform.


Yes it’s been discussed here a lot. Airbnb, the WHO, various states, assorted local authorities and others have deemed masks to be necessary when dealing with the public. And as Airbnb hosts, we are dealing with the public.

If you believe that this measure to stop the spread of a killer disease is somehow an assault on your civil liberties, then fine. You are perfectly at liberty to do your own thing and, possibly, get arrested for it, get seriously ill or pass on the disease to another person who could die from it.

You decide. You sleep at night if you can.


Thanks KenH and jaquo, but if I keep a compliant personal distance away from my guests, why the mask?

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You’d have to ask the powers-that-be about that. The health authorities have determined that both distancing and masks should be used at all times. They are more than likely much smarter than I am about these issues. :crazy_face:

However, from a layman’s point of view, if a host is wearing a mask it makes guests feel reassured. Subconsciously it implies to the guest that you’ve done everything you can to ensure that they will have a safe stay.

So to me, it’s worth doing to make the guests comfortable. And it’s a no-hassle way of doing it.

Remember too that a guest might say in a review ‘great place, great price, but the host didn’t wear a mask’.


I take your point but it’s a personal decision for hosts. My right to freedom of expression/behaviour on my own property is more important than a blip on my review score. If I’m more than 2 metres away from anyone why wear a mask? 2 metres is U.K. law, it may be different elsewhere.

Where i am there have been no cases for 180 days +. I understand the need where the virus is raging, but here…? I will have a mask with me and will wear it, but by November 20th I think Australia will have it pretty much under control and our internal borders will be open. The only cases are appearing are those that are in hotel 14 day quarantine after returning from overseas.

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Keep in mind that if a guest complains to Airbnb that you don’t wear a mask per Airbnb policy then your review score may be the least of your Airbnb worries.


As I said, I have no idea why we should wear masks if we are distancing. But people who are much wiser than I am have declared it to be so. I don’t want to catch COVID, I don’t want to pass it on to anyone and I don’t want to cause guests to be carriers and take the virus home with them.

I agree with wearing masks but yes, it’s a personal decision for hosts. If you decide that you don’t want to wear a mask, then don’t. Advertise with someone else other than Airbnb. Job done.


Do you STR a separate space? In that case, you can switch to HomeAway/VRBO if you don’t like Airbnb rules. They have a distancing guideline but not a mask requirement that I found during a quick scan.

Yes I could look for another more “agreeable” platform, but until then as an Airbnb host with a number of years experience I would prefer the status quo. I’m just surprised there are not more hosts on this forum that don’t appear to share my view. Interestingly on the official Airbnb forum this has been/still is a hot topic, hence my initial post.



Make of that what you will…



Then quit hosting.



Just WEAR the Damn Mask!


The short answer is that “distancing” is only one factor involved in reducing transmission of this virus.

The advice from the the US CDC is that social distancing, along with other measures, can help stop the spread. The other measures are wearing a mask and washing your hands often.

Funnily enough, the advice in the UK and Europe is not dissimilar.

The science behind it is all to do with aerosol transmission, i.e. droplets exhaled through breathing, coughing and sneezing; a properly fitted mask, of the correct specifications, will cut down the risk of a) you getting infected by someone else and b) if you are unfortunate enough to be affected, you then infecting someone else.

To again quote the US CDC, this is what they say (this is from a Flu prevention leaflet, but the physics remain the same).

It spreads mainly through droplets that come from a sick person’s nose and mouth when they cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can travel up to 6 feet and land in the noses and mouths of people nearby or be inhaled into the lungs.

Returning to the subject of masks and hosting. Since we reopened in July we have been greeting guests face to face, wearing masks (and sometimes gloves) and keeping an appropriate distance. Sometimes it’s difficult and it has taken a certain something away from hosting, but we do it.

This is way before Airbnb pinched our protocols and made them compulsory for all hosts :wink:

The feedback from guests has all been positive, they appreciate what we’re doing and why.

No they don’t, what BDC has is:

Staff follow all safety protocols as directed by local authorities

Both BDC and VRBO generally credit their hosts with having a bit more common sense than Airbnb, i.e. they don’t try to micro manage folks businesses.

If you’re hosting in a country with a high infection rate, not only is it common sense from your own perspective to wear a mask when dealing with the public (and that’s what guests are), it can also help reassure guests that you’re also taking the other stuff, like cleaning and sanitising, seriously.

All the arguments that folks in the US, UK & Europe come out with, “it’s my personal space”, “I’m not being gagged”, “we’ve got no cases here”, and so on, what a load of old bollocks. It’s a simple mask, not some mythical medieval contraption that somehow takes away your rights, or forever marks you as a “sheep”. Wear a mask when you have contact with your guests, then take it off when you don’t. It’s not rocket science.

If anyone has doubts over the efficacy of wearing masks to help reduce infection rates, here’s an interesting article, the abstract says it all.


That’s really good news @Debthecat, and it highlights one of the problems with Airbnb micro managing folks STR businesses. Your neighbours in New Zealand are in a similar situation (I believe) so the protocols needed for safe hosting in your neck of the woods do not need to be anywhere as rigorous as the US, UK and Europe. Maybe they’ll see sense before the 20th?

All we need now is some guests, to wear masks with, to socially distance from and have hand sanitising fiestas!



Not true… CDC says ‘EITHER maintain social distance of 6’ OR wear a mask’, plus there is plenty of science out there that disagrees with the effectiveness of mask wearing especially since many are worn improperly, are the wrong kind, etc. Additionally, I do not run up and hug or kiss my guests at any time, and again…CDC says you need to be IN their space for at LEAST 15 mn, close up, to risk contracting the disease. Just read their website. (of course, things can change daily as they decide which agenda they want to support) And I find replies like KenH to be rude and inconsiderate. When we ‘signed on’ to this platform we agreed to follow the THEN stated requirements, that made sense and did not interfere with our person property and space. We are NOT franchisees. We are property owners merely listing out STR. MLS or a real estate firm cannot ‘require’ us to wear a mask in order to list with their company. It’s up to choice. Guests can choose to wear a mask, OR NOT BOOK if we haven’t agreed to this Nov 20 protocol. IT’S about choice . I depend on this income , I have health issues AND a property (a farm EXPERIENCE) , am in a locale that is minimally affected by the virus, so mask wearing is not a workable thing for me. MANY hosts share this view, just read the other forums. And anyway, IF wearing masks PROTECT ME, then if my guests wear one, I don’t need to, right??? Can’t keep changing the story. Masks work, no they don’t, masks don’t protect you, yes they do, masks only protect someone else, no they don’t. Guess we all get to CHOOSE WHO to believe, yes??? I can find just as many medical professionals who do NOT feel masks work, as you can find who DO. Tell me about wearing a mask while haying the livestock (with guests ‘helping’) or feeding the chickens, or any other farm ‘chores’ they enjoy participating in! Surrounded by a couple of thousand acres of wilderness and no neighbors. MY guests come HERE to ESCAPE the ‘mandates’ . So please , if YOU want to wear one, go for it, but please don’t lecture those of us who find it …impractical…unsafe…or not essential for our CHOICE for safety. And by the way, in investigating other listing platforms, NONE are being draconian and stating that you will be DROPPED if you don’t agree to this blanket, one size fits all mandate. geez…


Goodness, Airbnb is just a company, not the spawn of the devil. Just like other companies, they have their own rules which may differ from other rules in companies in the same line of business.

And we can choose exactly which advertising company we want to use.

Airlines, for example, have different rules and regulations. If you don’t like Delta’s baggage allowance, use Jet Blue or whatever. And speaking of airlines, we’re told that they are the safest way to travel. Yet we still have safety instructions and life jackets and seat belts etc.

Yet air crashes are relatively rare. It’s all belt and braces (or whatever the phrase is in the USA) for our safety. Wearing a mask and distancing might be belt and braces too but so what? That’s society today.

I have smoke alarms in my house. They are mandatory here. And when was the last time I had a fire? Never. I have seat belts in my car - the last time I was in an accident was more than thirty years ago. That’s what things are like these days - ‘safety first’.

Hosts complain that guests don’t ‘follow the rules’ so I see nothing wrong with hosts obeying any rules that their advertising platform puts in place.


From the perspective of a sometimes Airbnb guest I’m glad Airbnb has this policy so I can cancel my reservation and get a refund if I encounter a host who puts their own political views above my safety.

If I go to a rental and don’t even see the host, I don’t know or care if they are maskless. But imagine my horror if I go to a rental and get one of those hosts who insists they have to do the tour, the virus is a hoax and I’m stuck standing outside my rental staring at this host in disbelief and Airbnb won’t refund me.

OTOH, I suppose in the name of “freedom” it would be nice if a host were just required to disclose in the listing if they were an anti-science, anti-masker. I could just search for listings where masks were required. There is evidence that a majority of Americans believe there should be mask mandates so any host who ignores that put themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

I’m afraid anti maskers probably don’t clean their listings well either since if they can’t see something with their own eyes it doesn’t exist.


If it is any consolation: I was not a huge fan of their mandatory mask option but started right away, even though I was keeping my distance from guests all summer. A little over 2 weeks ago, I had a guest who I later found out was positive while they were here. Thankfully, due to the mandate we were both masked up 100% of the time, except when eating (we shared a pizza). I had to quarantine and test twice and I did not pick up the virus. Now I am a supporter of the mask mandate.


Due to the incubation period and asymptomatic transmission, it’s really important to have a mask on. We simply don’t know that much about the virus and since there is no vaccine yet, masking together with other interventions is crucial and it’s the only thing we have the power to control to protect ourselves and others.

We have no way as individuals to force people to reveal they are positive or do isolation, quarantining or contract tracing. Even distancing…if some jerk comes up and yells in my face I can’t stop them. I really, really DO NOT UNDERSTAND the anti mask thing. It’s the weirdest hill ever to choose to die on.