SYDNEY: The NSW Government has backed away – at least for the time being – on what appears to have been a planned shutdown of the Airbnb home-sharing business, due to the coronavirus.

In a number of media reports on Monday, the NSW Minister for Innovation Kevin Anderson was quoted as saying short-term accommodation had been declared illegal and that there was “zero reason for someone to stay in an Airbnb”.

However yesterday both Anderson and Airbnb said this was not correct. Airbnb said its clients were still operating while Anderson said that in the current circumstances, “the provision of short-term accommodation is often critical, particularly for our frontline health workers”.

Still, many Airbnb premises may still find themselves un-occupied. Many commentators, and some police, have warned that long-distance travelling to an attractive Airbnb holiday property may be near-impossible, given police warnings and shutdowns.