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
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!