On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19. As of March 9, 2020, there were two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Cyprus.
Given the health and safety risks, we urge our Airbnb hosts in Cyprus to take necessary precautions to protect yourself when traveling or hosting. Here are our tips on what you can do to protect yourself, your family and guests during the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus in Cyprus – Do not panic!
Public authorities of Cyprus are taking measures to limit the possible outbreak of coronavirus in Cyprus. The Foreign Minister of Cyprus has announced on 11 March 2020 that passengers arriving in the Republic or who have come from or travelled to the list of countries listed below in the past 14 days, shall be screened and checked on arrival. If they exhibit symptoms that point to the virus, the necessary medical exams will be carried out:
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
- United Kingdom
Disinfect and deep clean after guests
If you are hosting Airbnb guests during this period, make sure to use high quality cleaning chemicals to clean the apartment after their departure. Take the time to also disinfect all door handles, light switches and remote controls. If you are letting a room in your own house to Airbnb guests, we would suggest to do a disinfecting procedure every day in the common areas such as the bathroom, kitchen and living room. It is also a good idea to provide your guests with small bottles of disinfectant and encourage them to use it while being outside. This will make your Airbnb hosts feel looked after and safer during this period of uncertainty. You can also put large bottles of disinfectant around the house (in the bathroom, in the kitchen, on the coffee table) and encourage guests to use it.
Do not drop your prices
It may be tempting to drop the prices for your property in order to attract guests to Cyprus during this time of uncertainty and global panic, however, please do not do it! Dropping your Airbnb prices will have wide and long-term, negative implications on the Cyprus Airbnb market, which may take longer to recover from than coronavirus itself. The perception of Cyprus as a “cheap” destination is something that the Ministry of Tourism and many businesses have been trying to combat for years. Our mission is to offer high quality products and service, and charge for them accordingly. Do not forget this!
Update you cancellation policy
On Airbnb, hosts set the cancellation policies that guests can book with. Hosts can choose from several standardized cancellation policies to protect both hosts and guests. Available policies include Flexible, Moderate, and Strict. You can see more details about the various cancellation policy options here. If you are currently on a flexible cancellation policy, you may want to change it to a stricter one to avoid unwanted cancellations because of the coronavirus.
Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy for coronavirus
Travelers may be eligible for a 100% refund via Airbnb “extenuating circumstances” claim — regardless of the host’s cancellation policy — if traveling from or to an area that has been “severely impacted” by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Eligible reservations can be canceled without charges, including:
- Guests who are traveling to or from severely impacted areas
- Hosts who are hosting in or welcoming guests from severely impacted areas (for a list of areas impacted and covered by this policy, see the Airbnb help page)
- Anyone who can’t complete their trip due to official travel restrictions, medical or disease control duties, flight or ground transportation cancellation initiated by the provider due to COVID-19, or suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19
What happens when a reservation that falls under our extenuating circumstances policy is canceled?
- The guest will receive a full refund (including any fees)
- Hosts won’t incur any cancellation fees
- Airbnb will refund all fees
- Hosts can accept new reservations for those dates
- Superhost status will not be affected
You can read more information about Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy, and see the list of severely impacted areas under the policy here.
Stay safe! If you want advise on how to safely rent our property on Airbnb in Cyprus, get in touch with our team for a free consultation.