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Airbnb to Stop Giving COVID-Related Refunds

The change is set to start May 31.

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Sarah Tew/CNET
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Airbnb is making a change to its refund policy starting May 31 to no longer cover COVID-related circumstances, the company said in a blog post Friday.  

At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Airbnb updated its Extenuating Circumstances Policy to allow guests and hosts to cancel a reservation without penalty if either were infected with COVID-19. Neither party would pay any penalty nor have their accounts dinged because of the cancellation. 

The policy change will affect bookings made on or after May 31. Both parties will have to adhere to Airbnb's policies regarding canceling reservations and be subject to any penalties for cancellations regarding COVID status. 

Throughout the two years of the pandemic, Airbnb made multiple changes to its policies, including providing free housing to health care workers and banning parties to avoid outbreaks.