The Four Seasons and Airbnb Are Providing Housing for Front Line Workers During Coronavirus

published Mar 27, 2020
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Credit: Four Seasons

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens in many parts of the country, healthcare workers and first responders are among those facing financial hardships and the stress of caring for sick patients, often without adequate protective gear to keep themselves safe from the spread of the virus.

With New York City as one of the coronavirus hot spots, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Twitter that the Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown is providing free lodging to doctors, nurses and medical personnel currently working to respond to the pandemic, thanking the luxury hotel for doing so and adding that they’re “first of many hotels we hope will make their rooms available” to those amid hotel closures due to COVID-19.

In a statement reported by The New York Post, Ty Warner, the founder and chairman of Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts, which owns the Four Seasons confirmed the news. He said, “Our health care workers are working tirelessly on the front lines of this crisis. Many of those working in New York City have to travel long distances to and from their homes after putting in 18-hour days. They need a place close to work where they can rest and regenerate. I heard Governor Cuomo’s call to action during one of his press conferences, and there was no other option for us but do whatever we could to help.”

Another company offering lodging for front line workers is Airbnb. The global initiative will help provide free or subsidized housing to 100,000 COVID-19 responders, giving Airbnb hosts the opportunity to follow new cleanliness protocols and offer free or more affordable housing to those working in the relief and care efforts.

“Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help,” Airbnb’s co-founder Joe Gebbia said in a statement. “We’ve heard from countless hosts around the world who want to provide a comforting home to heroic first responders. We are connecting our nonprofit partners, government agencies and others with our incredible host community to work together in these extraordinary times.”

So far nearly 6,000 hosts in Italy and France have already offered their homes to those workers seeking a place to stay through Airbnb’s Open Homes platform, which was created in 2012 to support housing needs in emergency situations like this one.

Aside from working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement the new cleanliness standards—including increased sanitizing efforts, maintaining social distancing guidelines, and allowing for 72 hours between guests—they’re also partnering with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps and other nonprofit organizations to help support front line workers in other ways, too, as they work to care for patients and slow the spread of the virus.