Making a short-term booking with Airbnb isn’t possible moving forward throughout the United Kingdom. This follows after the UK Division confirmed that they’re implementing this measure until April 18th, with an exclusion protocol provided to Essential Workers in Great Britain or Ireland. This includes individuals working in Social Care, Transportation, Food Retail and the National Health Services.
Airbnb was forced to implement these measures after politicians criticized that this large-scale corporation hadn’t already implemented measures. Challenges have faced Airbnb since this decision was enforced, with the BBC reporting that listing was accepting standard customers through the “Instant Booking Feature”. This requires individuals not to be vetted.
BBC implemented an investigation into these reports, acting like a standard customer trying to obtain a provisional booking. Property listing owners expressed their locations as “COVID-19 retreats that are perfect for isolating with family members”. Multiple individuals within the UK Political Community revealed that these decisions were dangerous and irresponsible. After further investigation, it was noted that hundreds of property listings were providing COVID-19 retreats.
BBC Investigators requested property landlords to provide details on the bookings, where it was expressed that it’d be a shared accommodation between this individual two daughters and himself. This landlord revealed that a single room was available and that lavatory services would be shared as well. Multiple property owners mentioned similar details, which means hundreds of property landlords across the United Kingdom aren’t practising social distancing measures.
Those booking these reservations are significantly at risk of infecting themselves with COVID-19. Landlords don’t provide details on their daily chores or who they interact with, considering that these individuals have already implemented property listings, it’s safe to assume that they aren’t practising the social distancing requirements across the UK. It should be mentioned that throughout these investigations, property owners didn’t request if BBC Investigators were Essential Workers. This means landlords directly disobeyed the legislation enacted by Airbnb.
The BBC questioned the Airbnb Company on what penalties will be ensued. Representatives with the company expressed that an internal investigation is being implemented. These individuals breaking newly formed legislation will have their accounts terminated and face significant fines. Hundreds across the UK could meet thousands in lost revenue for their criminal actions during COVID-19.