Airbnb hosts listing properties as 'COVID-19 retreats,' defying local laws: report

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A quarantine is not supposed to be a vacation.

Reports of Airbnb listings claiming to be “COVID-19 retreats” have surfaced, possibly breaking various lockdown rules or laws that have been put into place. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, some Airbnb hosts have reported seeing a significant loss of income.

According to Airbnb's website, listings with titles that reference “COVID,” “coronavirus” or “quarantine” have been prohibited.

According to Airbnb's website, listings with titles that reference “COVID,” “coronavirus” or “quarantine” have been prohibited. (iStock)

Airbnb hosts in Britain have been listing rentals as “COVID-19 retreats” and using terms like “perfect for isolating in the countryside,” BBC reports. According to the outlet, these listings would be going against coronavirus regulations in the area that prohibit holiday accommodations for essential workers who need to self-isolate.

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"Our advice is clear,” Tourism Minister for the UK Nigel Huddleston told the BBC. “Essential travel does not include holidays, leisure travel and visits to second homes-- and people must remain in their primary residence. It is incredibly irresponsible, and dangerous for some property owners to be marketing themselves as ‘isolation retreats.’ We are writing to companies today to remind them of their responsibilities at this time."

When asked for a comment, a spokesperson for Airbnb referred Fox News to a recent update to the Airbnb website, which outlines the company’s policies during the coronavirus outbreak.

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According to the site, “As public health guidance is still evolving, we will not allow listing titles that could be interpreted as exploiting the pandemic, such as marketing around escaping COVID-19. Additionally, we do not feel it’s appropriate to market COVID-19 related discounts or promote a listing as being well stocked on limited resources such as hand sanitizer or toilet paper.”

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The site continues to explain that listings with titles that reference “COVID,” “coronavirus” or “quarantine” have been prohibited.