Airbnb blasted for advertising 'virus retreats'
London - Online home rentals site Airbnb came under fire on Monday night for allowing properties to be advertised as "Covid-19 retreats".
Would-be Easter holidaymakers have been warned by the British government not to travel across the country, with only essential journeys allowed.
Hotels, hostels and other guest houses have been forced to close to reduce temptation amid glorious weather. New coronavirus laws say holiday lets should be provided only to key workers such as NHS staff who need to self-isolate near work.
But up until Monday, Airbnb was still allowing "hosts" to advertise their properties to would-be tourists.
The hosts, who have listed their homes as being "perfect for isolating with family" or an "idyllic cottage", have continued to flout government lockdown rules which state only keyworkers should be the sole recipients of holiday accommodation amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The property owners on the popular rental site have also been allowing those seeking a home away from home to make instant bookings without any vetting, the BBC reported.
The Daily Mail contacted the owners of 10 properties in St Ives, Cornwall, three of which accepted our reporter’s request to rent their properties, contrary to the government’s rules.
On Monday night Airbnb announced it had disabled its "instant book" function for whole properties and it will ban property owners from marketing their homes as "an escape" from coronavirus.
A spokesperson said: "The government has set out clear guidance on the limited conditions under which necessary travel is permitted and we have taken a number of steps to support these measures."Daily Mail