Following Airbnb’s recent announcement on the launch of its global Frontline Stays initiative to help house 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers, and first responders around the world, the company is now preparing to expand its programme to assist COVID-19 frontliners in Thailand to provide them with safe and convenient places to stay while they carry out their critical work.
The Thailand programme is a joint effort between Airbnb and Thailand hosts. Airbnb is also exploring working with other local civil society and non-profit organisations to garner support for this initiative. Airbnb hosts in Thailand who wish to open their homes and be a part of the program can sign up at airbnb.com/covid19relief.
Frontline Stays has been expanded so that individual responders can book directly via the Airbnb platform, allowing hosts to help even more people who are in immediate need. Airbnb will be working with businesses, nonprofits and government and emergency management agencies supporting these healthcare staff and first responders.
Airbnb will continue to waive all fees for the first 100,000 stays booked through this programme. Hosts can also opt into the programme and have the option of opening their homes for free through Airbnb’s Open Homes platform, created in 2012 to meet the needs of people requiring emergency housing. If hosts are not able to host for free, Airbnb will still waive all fees on the stay.
“From floods to earthquakes and other natural disasters, the Airbnb community has a long history of providing accommodation to those in need when the worst happens. Amid this global pandemic, we at Airbnb recognise that medical workers are at the forefront of saving lives and we are committed to working with our community to do whatever we can to support them”, said Mich Goh, head of public policy (Southeast Asia), Airbnb. “We’ve been inspired by the generosity of Thai hosts and nonprofits who have reached out to us seeking ways to support their frontliners.”
The Orientale is among the Airbnb accommodations who have started offering their space to frontliners and have expressed support for Airbnb’s Frontline Stays initiative. “We’d like to play our part and support the medical staff in Thailand who are fighting COVID-19 for us all. They are working long hours and very hard, and in collaboration with Airbnb we can provide a convenient place for them to stay during this time,” said Waranist Thanapitwiwat, marketing and public relations, The Orientale.
Accommodation for relief and medical workers who have higher exposure to COVID-19 requires robust preventive practices and stringent safety standards. Airbnb takes the health and safety of its community very seriously and has worked with leading experts and officials to develop a protocol for hosts who support this collective health effort. The protocol will be updated to incorporate new requirements from local and national authorities and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Examples of safe hosting recommendations include listing entire homes and agreeing to a number of safety requirements including enhanced cleaning, social distancing with their guests, and allowing 72 hours between stays. Airbnb’s partners or affiliates will ensure that stays are COVID-19 related and responders are familiar with safety protocols.
Mich Goh, head of public policy, Southeast Asia, Airbnb