There has been some confusion in the press this week about Airbnb and other short-term rental accommodation (STRA). Reports that it is illegal to stay in STRA are incorrect. There is no ban on any such accommodation.
In fact, there is a need for these types of lets in the current environment. The NSW Government has acknowledged that in certain circumstances the provision of STRA is often critical, particularly for frontline health workers.
There are also many people who may be affected by COVID-19 who need to self-isolate away from their family and, therefore, require STRA.
Nomads who cannot travel freely with their caravans because caravan parks are closed, may utilise STRA to avoid being couped up in their caravans all day, every day.
Further, there are overseas travellers who are ‘trapped’ in NSW and cannot get out of the country who require the use of STRA.
Kevin Anderson, NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, issued a media statement this week to clear up any confusion. He highlighted the fact that STRA is not currently illegal. Click here to read his statement.
However, the NSW Government advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been very clear. As per the Public Health Order, people must stay home with the exception of a number of essential circumstances including work and to carry out care duties. People in NSW have been advised that Airbnb and other short-stay accommodation options should be avoided if possible, particularly for holiday purposes.
No one should be staying anywhere other than their own permanent home unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’ to do so. Anyone who leaves their home without a ‘reasonable excuse’ could spend up to 6 months in prison and face a fine of up to $11,000 under the emergency ministerial directive.