COVID-19 Airbnb Changes Namely In Miami Beach, Orlando
Planning to take a trip to Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale or the Florida Keys this vacation season?
Maybe your Christmas or New Year’s plans include a road trip to Orlando, where you can visit Mickey Mouse or enjoy a butter beer with your friends at Universal Studios.
No matter where you go, vacations and stays can get complicated, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with health concerns, there are also many new rules and restrictions designed to help reduce the spread of the disease.
At the beach, in clubs and yes even at your hotel or Airbnb.
If you’re planning on booking an Airbnb for the holidays, here are five COVID-19 changes you need to know:
How has COVID-19 changed your Airbnb stay in Miami and other parts of Florida?
▪ All parties and events are prohibited, including baby showers and birthdays. The boutique hotels and other traditional hospitality venues listed on the platform are an exception. Airbnb’s blanket ban on “disruptive parties and events” went into effect in August and is expected to remain in effect until further notice.
▪ Try to book a location that has a flexible cancellation policy, which allows you to cancel one day before arrival. It is your best option during the pandemic. You can find details of each location’s cancellation policy on the main page of each listing. You can also filter your search results to only show places with a flexible cancellation policy.
Hosts can offer one of the following three cancellation policies:
Soft: Full refund of the price per night 1 day before the arrival date.
Moderate: Full refund of the price per night 5 days before the arrival date
Strict: Refund of 50% of the price per night up to 1 week before the arrival date
Airbnb says you shouldn’t check in at a location if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 30 days, are sick or have been exposed and are waiting for test results. You also should not check if you are showing symptoms or if you have had close contact with someone confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
▪ Tested positive just before your trip? You may be able to cancel your Airbnb reservations and experiences using Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy. The policy also applies if your host becomes ill with COVID-19. Learn more at https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2701/extenuating-circumstances-policy-and-the-coronavirus-covid19
It’s worth noting that Airbnb says you can’t book a place to self-isolate because you’ve been exposed or tested positive.
However, you can make a reservation if you are in good health and just want to be closer to a family member who has fallen ill with COVID-19. Of course, that’s if you haven’t and won’t be in direct contact with a sick family member, the company said.
The rules are different for frontline workers, including healthcare workers and first responders, who are responding to COVID-19 and need to be away from their families. Learn more at https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2746/how-do-i-book-a-frontline-stay-as-a-covid19-responder
▪ Wear masks, social distancing, and check to see if your host has an “Improved Cleaning” icon. Airbnb says everyone should wear a mask, including the host, and be at least six feet from others at all times. This is required in common areas and shared areas. The only exception is if everyone in the room is on the same reservation.
If you feel uncomfortable staying in a private room or shared space, consider reserving an entire spot instead.
Masks and social distancing are also required at all times during Airbnb Experiences, which are interactive in-person activities that you can book throughout Florida, including Miami Beach, Key West, and Orlando.
Airbnb also recommends checking to see if your host has committed to the company’s enhanced five-step cleaning process. You can do this by looking for a glittering icon and the words “Improved cleaning” at the top of a host’s listing page.
Oh, and while you’re at it, speak with your host before booking to find out if they are restricting access to any area of the house. You don’t want to pack your swimsuit just to find out the pool is closed.
▪ Private Airbnb Experiences (interactive in-person activities) are available throughout Florida. Airbnb says it’s a good option for groups who don’t want to be with strangers due to the COVID-19 risk. When you click on an activity to see what dates are available, it should tell you if the private booking option exists. Keep in mind that the host will most likely be with you.
Regular Airbnb experiences, which might have other people you don’t know in the group, also picked up across Florida, including Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Keys, Tampa, and Orlando. Online-only activities are also available.
Point: If you are looking for an activity to do that is considered low risk, try looking for outdoor activities like kayaking or swimming with dolphins. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s safer to be outside than inside to reduce the risk of COVID.