SAN FRANCISCO – Airbnb announced yesterday it would waive cancellation fees for guests who had booked accommodations on or before March 14, 2020 with check-in dates between March 14, 2020 and April 14, 2020.

“In response to the extraordinary events and global disruption to travel caused by COVID-19, today we are announcing updated coverage under Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy,” says a statement from Airbnb. “Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy allows hosts and guests to cancel eligible reservations with no charge or penalty.”

The policy applies to bookings of places to stay and Airbnb Experiences in every country and region around the world, with the exception of domestic travel in mainland China, which is scheduled to return to normal rules on April 1.

“We understand this announcement will impact hosts around the world, many of whom depend on the economics they generate on Airbnb. We’ll be working in the days and weeks ahead to identify tools and initiatives to support our hosts during these very challenging times,” the statement reads. “Many of us are hosts ourselves and we understand this is a difficult time. We’ve worked to find a balance between supporting hosts and protecting the well-being of our community and we will find additional ways to help our hosts. It’s also important to note Airbnb will not collect any fees or benefit in any way from any reservations cancelled under this policy. We’re in this together. We will continue to assess the situation and will provide further information as it becomes available.”

The company is “strongly advising” all travellers to carefully review and select cancellation policies that are right for them given the COVID-19 outlook.

“Our hosts are ready and eager to support the community with a wide variety of flexible travel options. And though travel has been significantly impacted by the virus, we do know travel remains incredibly important and we’re working to provide tools and policies to best support our hosts and guests during these unusual times.”

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