Airbnb has launched a global initiative, wherein the company is offering free stays to medical workers who are the frontliners of the ongoing battle with the coronavirus pandemic. By Amitha Ameen

 

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While most of us are lucky enough to be able to be at home in the company of our loved ones during this time, our healthcare and relief workers are risking their lives on the front lines to curb and get rid of the virus. And, when these workers go home at the end of the day they stand a chance of infecting their fellow family members.

This is where Airbnb’s ‘Open Homes’ initiative comes into play. The company is providing free stays for these healthcare and relief workers so that they can be close to the hospitals and disaster zones and at a safe distance from their families.

 

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Airbnb is connecting with many businesses, non-profits, and government agencies to reach these professionals during COVID-19.

“Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help,” Airbnb’s 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,” she added.

 

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The initiative was first launched in Italy on March 18 as a pilot programme called ‘Airbnb For Doctors and Nurses.’ This later expanded to France by March 24 and so far more than 6,000 hosts between these two countries have volunteered their homes.

Last week, Airbnb expanded the free stay for medical workers’ a.k.a – Open Homes -initiative to the whole world.

Those willing to offer their homes will have to meet certain safety requirements. This would include rigorous cleaning and making sure to maintain at least 72 hours between stays. Airbnb also said that it would waive any fees for stays during this initiative.

What’s even more amazing is that Airbnb is now allowing guests to cancel their reservations free of charge. If you are interested in listing your home for medics and relief workers, head here.

Related: Here’s How The Coronavirus Lockdown Is Affecting The Environment (In A Positive Way)