How to verify guest has COVID?

I have a guest reservation in a few days. Guest claims ger boy friend has COVID. I would like to refund her if it is indeed her boyfriend and if he indeed has COVID. But I have no way of knowing if her claim is true.

She did not provide me any proof. I trust her but I’d like to verify. Is it legal for me to ask her for proof of her domestic relationship, COVID test results as well as notarized copies of her identification?

Guest is from the USA. The listing is also in the USA.

Even if you could ask for COVID, how would you verify the domestic relationship? Someone could say they had been exposed through work or a family situation and how would you verify that? I believe that AIrbnb will tell you that COVID is no longer a reason for an exception.


Proof of domestic relationship and notarized copies of her ID, absolutely not. Super invasive, none of your business and do you know how much it costs to notarize something?

What “proof of relationship” do you think exists for a boyfriend/girlfriend situation?

I wouldn’t ask for anything. Refund or don’t refund, as you like, that’s all.


Don’t forget that Airbnb hasn’t paid you anything, as this guest hasn’t even checked in.

Whether she gets a refund is up to Airbnb. If they ask you to allow a refund, remember that it will come from your “pocket.” You will be paying her refund out of your future Airbnb income.

I wouldn’t authorize a refund, even if asked by her or by Airbnb.


Airbnb changed their EC policy so cancelling because someone has Covid is no longer a reason that a guest would be eligible for a refund, so there would be no reason for you to refund them @house_plants

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Check the screenshot I posted. It’s weird that Airbnb has created a flow where guests can request an additional refund due to covid-19.

I don’t want this guest to show up if her boyfriend has covid. But I have no way of verifying the covid claim.

Guests can always ask hosts to voluntarily refund over and above your cancellation policy. It doesn’t mean you have to say yes does it?

You can ask the guest to provide you with a copy of her boyfriends LFT test (or whatever you use where you live). In the UK it’s easier to verify as people can upload the results of their test into our NHS (national health service) app.

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Nothing weird about it. Airbnb likes to pressure hosts to refund when the guest gives them some sob story.


Perhaps they live at the same address? They have booked flight tickets together for many trips in the past?

There has to be a way to differentiate a legitimate request from a scammer. Otherwise, anyone can borrow someone else’s test results and claim a refund.

Yes. It costs around $15 where I live. The amount in question is far higher than that.

If I wanted a refund I would not hesitate to provide such a proof.

The only thing she could do as “proof” would be to send you a copy of his ID and positive Covid test. But you still wouldn’t know if it was someone else’s ID and test results. You are overthinking this. Either trust her and refund her, or don’t.

As I said, asking for anything like that is invasive and none of your business. And, quite frankly, weird. I could even imagine Airbnb suspending your listing for asking that if the guest complains.


I agree and that’s why I haven’t asked. And I don’t want to pay lawyer’s fees to ask this opinion. I will decline the refund request and if the guest wants to come forward with any documentation, they can.

As you can see, this opens up a world of possibilities for scammers to abuse hosts. And as we know, scammers are as pervasive on Airbnb as mosquitoes in the tropics.

The scammers have been using Covid as an excuse from the time the virus surfaced and the EC policy covered it.

Scammers can come up with all sorts of sob stories and lies aside from Covid to get some CS rep to refund them. It’s nothing new.

I figure someone who is telling the truth would volunteer documentation, not simply expect you to believe them or have to prod for it.

When I asked a guest if she was vaccinated, explaining that I am 72 and not willing to take chances in a homeshare situation, she told me, yes, fully vaccinated and boosted and sent a copy of her vax documentation, even though I never asked her to provide it.


Of course it does. Personally I wouldn’t refund voluntarily. But it’s your choice.

Has the guest provided any evidence of her partner’s positive Covid test - if not you have your answer.

None whatsoever. And I didn’t ask as I wasn’t sure if it was legal for me to ask.

I have asked her to contact Airbnb, open an extenuating circumstances case, and if it qualifies for extenuating circumstances, Airbnb will refund her.

I might ask her to reschedule her trip (in the low season). That will make it quite clear if it is a legitimate request.

What cancellation policy do you have. If she reschedules she could then cancel without penalty.

You need to decide a) are you likely to get a replacement booking? b) whether you want to voluntarily refund her.

Personally I would uphold my cancellation policy and say if you get a replacement booking you are willing to refund her proportionally. This is the fairest way for both the host and guest.


I have the firm policy. Yes, I could get scammed if I allow her to reschedule.

I will have to think through how to do the reschedule. But first she has to agree.

I wouldn’t ask because implicit in the question is that it is irrelevant notwithstanding the Airbnb blurb you copied. Covid is no longer an extenuating circumstance, end of story.

And if you do this, make clear that you will make that refund to the extent and at the timing that you actually receive the funds from that subsequent booking.

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At this point in the pandemic it’s incumbent on tourists to get travel insurance. No nosing into their business and no refund. I guarantee the ins. company will ask for evidence.


Yes. I’m being asked to assume the role of the insurance company here.

No proof means no refund.