Airbnb asked hosts in parts of China most affected by the coronavirus to help guests rearrange accommodation, while stopping short of warning customers about the disease.
The advice comes as hundreds of properties remain available via the room-booking platform in the city of Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province, where the deadly virus that’s killed more than 200 is believed to have originated.
In one message, Airbnb advised hosts in the region to pay close attention to the development of the epidemic, and be supportive if a guest’s itinerary or plans changed suddenly.
“Airbnb has launched a special cancellation policy for housing bookings in Wuhan,” said the Chinese-language message, adding that hosts keep in touch with tenants. Ultimately, Airbnb has left it up to each host whether or not to accept bookings.
A Bloomberg News reporter was able to successfully complete a booking, with payment taken from a U.K. credit card, without being advised on Airbnb’s app or in confirmation emails of current health and travel guidance.