If you've flown commercially during the pandemic, you're probably aware that part of the check-in process includes verifying that you haven't felt ill with COVID-19 symptoms, nor have you knowingly come into contact with anyone who has the virus. Some hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions have required visitors to provide the same information. Airbnb is hopping on that train, creating the Health Safety Attestation policy, which allows hosts to ask guests about their recent health history related to COVID-19.
For now, the voluntary program will focus on guests' symptoms and exposure to the virus, based on guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). But Airbnb might implement new features as time goes on—particularly if local governments start issuing new travel restrictions. It's not unreasonable to guess that the form might soon include a box to check if you've been vaccinated.
"We're kind of dipping our toe in the water and seeing how this works with hosts, but it also has to work with guests," Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told USA Today."The attestation seems like a reasonable thing, and hosts were asking for it."
If guests need to cancel because of COVID-19 symptoms or exposure as indicated on the Health Safety Attestation, they will receive full refunds under Airbnb's Extenuating Circumstance Policy. Similarly, if hosts cancel for the same reason, their Superhost status will not be affected, and their guests will receive a full refund.
Airbnb hasn't released any details about when the Health Safety Attestation will become available to hosts, but we speculate it'll be quite soon.