Airbnbs and home shares allowed to continue despite ban on visiting households

The Association of Scottish Self Caterers said the Scottish Government confirmed the industry was able to continue operating.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 12:30 pm
AirBnB locks outside a block of flats in Edinburgh
AirBnB locks outside a block of flats in Edinburgh

Airbnbs and holiday lets across Scotland will be allowed to continue operating and welcoming guests despite the ban on inter-household visiting imposed on the country by Nicola Sturgeon yesterday.

The new guidance, which states households are not able to visit other households apart from exemptions for single person households, non-co-habiting couples and those requiring care or childcare, does not extend to short-term lets.

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The Association of Scottish Self Caterers said it had obtained legal clarification on the issue and said the Scottish Government outlined hotels, hostels, members clubs, boarding houses, bed and breakfasts and short-term holiday lets were not affected by the new rules.

This allows the tourism industry to continue operating, but will also mean those living near Airbnbs and short-term lets in cities will continue to see visitors arriving in houses and tenement flats.

Critics of short-term lets criticised the opening of the industry earlier in the year, with particular concerns raised around tenement short-term lets and cleanliness in communal areas such as stairwells.

Chief executive of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, Fiona Campbell welcomed the clarification from the Scottish Government.

She said: “As we have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Scotland’s self-catering sector supports the Scottish Government in its fight against the virus and we are committed to playing our part.

“Self-catering has led the way in combatting the virus, from our decision to close down as early as March and only reopen with strict, government-backed, cleaning protocols in place to ensure that our memory-making holidays are delivered in safety.

“We further welcome the decision not to include self-catering, worth £723million a year to Scotland’s economy, in the “private indoor space” definition which will allow a large number of our operators to continue in business.

“Going forward, it is imperative that the Scottish Government is clear in its messaging to avoid confusion and also to emphasise that self-catering remains open for business and that our customers can be reassured that the strict cleaning measures we have in place mean that our properties are safe.”

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