Effect of fake news: Airbnb host rejects booking of couple for being vaccinated

WION Web Team
Victoria, Australia Updated: Jul 21, 2021, 05:11 PM(IST)

Airbnb Office Photograph:( Reuters )

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An Airbnb host has been suspended after she refused booking of a couple in Victoria simply because they have had their first dose of coronavirus vaccine

An Airbnb host has been suspended for rejecting the booking of a probable customer because they revealed they have had the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Steve Carey discovered an Airbnb he liked and decided to talk to the owner, also known as ‘superhost’. However, the host asked Carey if he had been vaccinated and Carey admitted "we've both had our first [shot]".

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Upon hearing this, the host refused to accept the booking as she believes the people who have the first dose can infect other people with the coronavirus, as she believes vaccinated people can be a carrier of the disease to unvaccinated people.

"I'm not accepting any vaccinated people due to reports of adverse reactions," the host said. "It's also transmitting to unvaccinated people and causing them to become unwell. I’m afraid it’s way too experimental at this stage and I need to protect my other guests. I’m so sorry for any inconvenience."

Furious, Carey decided to contact Airbnb but the support person claimed there was nothing mentioned in company policies or terms and conditions that prevented hosts from refusing vaccinated people.

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"Having completed our investigation of this matter, we have suspended the listing in question," Airbnb’s head of public policy for Australia, Derek Nolan, told the Guardian Australia. "It's important that everyone closely follows official health guidance from local authorities as we all continue to do our part to combat COVID-19."

The customer, meanwhile, said he hopes Airbnb provides better information to guests as well as hosts from next time.

"My complaint was never with the Airbnb host, who correctly believed that she was acting within the guidelines, or lack of them, provided by Airbnb," he said. "Now that Airbnb has clarified things, she can decide for herself whether she wants to adhere to them."

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