Airbnb will end its COVID refund policy on May 31 – NBC10 Philadelphia

Airbnb announced Friday that guests who must cancel a reservation due to a COVID-19 infection will no longer be eligible to receive a refund starting May 31.

The short-term rental company said in a blog post that it was rescinding its extenuating circumstances policy, which was extended during the pandemic to include certain coronavirus-related events.

Under the policy, customers who contracted the virus were allowed to cancel and get a refund without penalty. The host can also cancel reservations without penalty.

As of May 31, cancellations due to COVID-19 will no longer be covered. Instead, the cancellation policy specified by the individual host will apply. The rentals on their site have varying cancellation policies, with some listings only requiring 24 hours notice, while others may require five or more days for a full refund.

Airbnb said now is the time to make the switch because of a “new way of life”.

“Some in the travel industry stopped this kind of policy months ago, while others didn’t provide one at all,” the company said on its website. “After consulting with our medical advisers, as well as our community, we believe the time is right to take the same step.”

Airbnb is expected to launch a new travel insurance program soon, which the company says will give guests another reimbursement option.

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