‘Risk of danger to residents’ prompts some Toronto condos to ban Airbnbs amid COVID-19 crisis
There is a public health risk in tourist accommodation, said York University environmental studies professor Roger Keil, who co-edited a book about the SARS epidemic called “Networked Disease.”
In 2003, the Hotel Metropole in Hong Kong was the site of a “super spread” event that sent SARS to points across the globe by travellers.
“Hotels are regulated spaces and they are cleaned by professional staff and they are under tight control in terms of public health. We know this is not necessarily the case in the (short-term rental) industry,” he said.
“If you now have thousands of people staying in fairly unregulated spaces shared with regular residents I cannot see how this cannot be a public health concern at the present moment,” Keil said.
Like SARS, COVID-19 is a coronavirus and respiratory disease.
“This is the world in which we now live and this is a world of high mobility, and Airbnb plays a major role in facilitating this mobility,” Keil said.