By Travel Reporter Time of article publishedSep 1, 2020

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Airbnb and Ubuntu Beds launched a partnership to provide frontline medical staff with subsidised places to stay as they continue to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, as part of Airbnb’s Frontline Stays initiative.

As South Africa moves to Alert Level 2 and restrictions across the country ease, Airbnb will leverage the generosity of hosts across the region to help house heroic medical staff as they work tirelessly to keep South Africans safe. Airbnb will waive all fees for these stays.

Medical staff will be connected to places to stay on Airbnb via Ubuntu Beds, an initiative that connects frontline workers in need of a place to stay to hospitality accommodation. The initiative has already helped connect more than 750 critical workers to over 13 000 nights in accommodations across South Africa.

Velma Corcoran, Airbnb Regional Manager for Middle East Africa, said as restrictions start to ease and travel returns to South Africa, hosts on Airbnb are opening their homes to frontline medical staff in need of a place to stay.

“We’ve heard from numerous hosts throughout the pandemic who have wanted to help support our heroic medical staff as they continue their battle to keep us all safe. We’re now delighted to team-up with Ubuntu Beds to leverage the generosity of hosts on Airbnb and support this important work,” said Corcoran.

Kim Whitaker, CEO of Ubuntu Beds, said the organisation was grateful for the generosity of hosts in South Africa.

“This collaboration will allow medics to enjoy the comfort of home in communities closer to hospitals, as they continue their critical work,” said Whitaker.

Since launching the Frontline Stays program, Airbnb has worked with governments and organisations across the world to connect frontline medical staff to more than 100 000 nights in subsidised accommodation provided by hosts on Airbnb.

Airbnb also launched #GetBehindTheMask in May, a host-led campaign to help provide masks and face coverings to underserved communities across South Africa.

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