Airbnb to limit UK accommodation to essential stays

Accommodation platform Airbnb will restrict UK bookings to keyworkers and “essential stays” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The home rental company came in for criticism earlier this week, with stays seemingly being offered despite government calls for Brits to remain at home.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston described some Airbnb offerings as being “irresponsible and dangerous”.

The firm said that the measure would last until at least April 18th.

Keyworkers – such as NHS and social care staff, and transport and food retail employees – can still book through a programme called Frontline Stays.

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The programme is designed to provide up to 100,000 healthcare staff and first-responders with accommodation close to their patients and a safe distance away from their own families.

Government rules state that tourism-related accommodation should only be provided to keyworkers needing to self-isolate during the pandemic.

The news comes following a tough week for Airbnb, with the company forced to raise additional funds as it seeks to safely navigate a fall in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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