Airbnb says it aims to help 100,000 Kiwi and other healthcare staff around the world find convenient and safe places to stay, while they man the front lines in the fight against coronavirus.

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The US-based tech company - that connects guests with short term rental property owners - said it would waive its fees for all stays arranged part through the initiative.

Airbnb hosts could also opt to provide their rentals for free. Those hosts unable to provide free accommodation, would still not be charged fees by Airbnb if the booking was to a health worker through the initiative.


"Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help," Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia said.

"We've heard from countless hosts around the world who want to provide a comforting home to heroic first responders."

The initiative builds on a pilot programme launched in France earlier this week.

Under that programme, the French government announced doctors, nurses, caregivers and other medical support staff responding to the coronavirus outbreak could access free accommodation through Airbnb.

Almost 4000 Airbnb hosts had since responded to the call by offering their rentals up.

To match rentals with healthcare workers and other "Covid-19 responders", Airbnb said it would work with businesses, nonprofits, and government and emergency management agencies.

It also said it would develop a guideline for hosts on how to clean their rentals to ensure the health and safety of medical workers and their patients. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

"Accommodation for relief and medical workers, who have higher exposition to Covid-19, requires robust preventive practices and stringent safety standards," the company said.


It said examples of safe hosting recommendations included listing entire homes rather than just a room and agreeing to a number of safety requirements, such as enhanced cleaning, social distancing with guests, and allowing 72 hours between stays.

To learn more and open their homes, hosts can go to

The company also launched a site for people to donate to non-profit groups helping tackle the coronavirus outbreak, which can be seen here: