Airbnb Scumbags Find New Way to Devastate Rural Communities

By Gary Cutlack on at

People with spare houses in the countryside aren't that popular with locals at the best of times, but a select few have found new depths to plumb by advertising their rural Airbnb rentals as ideal coronavirus escape boltholes.

You're not supposed to do that. Going on holiday is not allowed, even if you're in the government. Despite this, though, a few grasping Airbnb hosts are advertising their houses as "Covid-19 retreats" for people to rent to escape their boring town and city lockdown, with some rental listings boasting about the measures taken to disinfect properties to make sure they smell reassuringly bleachy upon arrival.

Airbnb has done the classic after-event panic and removed the "ideal for isolation" listings that were brought to its attention, and is hoping the problem now goes away. Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston is making sure a reminder hits the desk of the room/house letting giant and is sending it a letter, and said: "Essential travel does not include holidays, leisure travel and visits to second homes – and people must remain in their primary residence. It is incredibly irresponsible, and dangerous for some property owners to be marketing themselves as 'isolation retreats'."

Obviously some nice and normal people have letting businesses and aren't evil and are losing money amid all this, so we shouldn't judge. Despite having judged quite a bit there. [BBC]