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Airbnb vows to partly cover host losses following COVID-19 cancellations

It's paying $250 million to hosts affected by coronavirus cancellations.

Airbnb is setting aside $250 million for hosts affected by the coronavirus pandemic and is also expanding its no-penalty cancellations even further. A couple of weeks ago, the company announced that all stays and Experiences with check-in dates between March 14th and April 14th can be cancelled and fully refunded with no penalty. However, the decision was met with harsh criticism, because Airbnb wouldn't cover the hosts' losses. According to CNBC, company chief Brian Chesky apologized for the move in a letter sent to hosts.

He wrote:

"I deeply regret the way we communicated this decision, and I am sorry that we did not consult you -- like partners should. We have heard from you and we know we have let you down. You deserve better from us."

The company says it will use the $250 million it's setting aside to cover the costs of coronavirus-related cancellations. Hosts will get 25 percent of what they would've typically received for a canceled stay -- if they'd get $400 under their usual cancellation policy, for instance, Airbnb would pay them $100. The company says it will email affected hosts with more details in early April.

Further, the company will now cover canceled stays booked on or before March 14th with a check-in between March 14th and May 31st. That means it's extending its no-penalty cancellation offer by a month-and-a-half. At the moment, reservations with check-ins after May 31st aren't covered by the expanded policy, but Airbnb says it'll give guests the opportunity to either cancel or recommit to them in the coming weeks.