Airbnb announced Friday that guests who need to cancel a reservation due to a COVID-19 infection will no longer be eligible to received a refund starting May 31.
The short-term rental company said in a blog post that it's rolling back its Extenuating Circumstances policy, which was extended during the pandemic to include certain coronavirus-related events.
Under the policy, guests who contracted the virus were allowed to cancel and get a refund without a penalty. Host could also cancel reservations penalty-free.
Starting May 31, cancellations due to COVID-19 will no longer be covered. Instead, the individual host's stated cancellation policy will apply. Rentals on their site have varying cancellation policies, with some listings only requiring 24 hours of advance notice, while others may require five days or more for a full refund.
Airbnb said the time was right to make the change as a result of a “new way of living.”
"Some in the travel industry stopped this type of policy months ago, while others didn’t provide one at all," the company said on its website. "After consultation with our medical advisors, as well as our community, we feel the time is now right to take the same step."
Airbnb is expected to launch a new travel insurance program in the near future, which the company said will provide guests with another option for a refund.