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Airbnb to offer free housing for personnel fighting coronavirus

Airbnb to offer free housing for personnel fighting coronavirus
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Airbnb announced on Thursday that it is offering free housing worldwide to medical professional, first responders and relief workers amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help,” Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia said in a statement.

“We’ve heard from countless hosts around the world who want to provide a comforting home to heroic first responders. We are connecting our nonprofit partners, government agencies and others with our incredible host community to work together in these extraordinary times," he added.

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The announcement comes after pilot programs in Italy and France, in which almost 6,000 hosts offered their homes for free to those responding to the outbreak.

Now, hosts anywhere can opt into making their homes free by using the company's Open Homes platform, which was created in 2012 to help people who need emergency housing. If hosts can't host for free, then Airbnb will waive the fees of the stay.

Airbnb has also rolled out new safe hosting recommendations in tandem with the initiative to ensure that all homes meet a higher level of sanitation during the outbreak. Part of these recommendations is allowing 72 hours between stays at a home and enhanced cleaning.