Nicola Sturgeon has announced that 81 further Covid-19 deaths have been reported overnight in Scotland, taking the total number of deaths involving laboratory-confirmed victims of the virus to 447.
Sturgeon was speaking in the first ever online version of first minister’s questions, broadcast by the Scottish parliament where all five Holyrood party leaders were questioning her from remote locations around the country, chaired by the parliament’s presiding officer, Ken Macintosh.
She said the number of confirmed cases was up by 392 overnight, to 4,857, with 212 people in intensive care units around the country.
– From today, UK Airbnb bookings will be restricted to key workers and other essential stays only, the site has announced.
The platform will temporarily block all calendars from receiving new bookings for stays up to at least 18 April, unless they are for key workers or other types of essential stays.
Airbnb hosts have previously been accused of “irresponsible and dangerous behaviour” by the tourism minister, Nigel Huddleston, for advertising properties in Britain as “Covid-19 retreats”.
Emergency coronavirus laws state holiday accommodation should only be provided to key workers needing to self-isolate.
A BBC News investigation found that some properties were being advertised as places to self-isolate without any vetting, and only one of the Airbnb hosts it contacted said their property was available solely to key workers.
Airbnb said it would review the temporary block on 18 April, in line with the government’s guidance, and on a regular basis after that.
Thousands of hosts in the UK have opted to provide accommodation for the Frontline Stays programme, it said.
This includes free stays for NHS staff, and paid or subsidised stays for other key workers on the frontline.
Patrick Robinson, director of public policy at Airbnb, said: “Hosts across the UK are playing a vital role in housing NHS and other medical staff as they continue their critical work.
“Restricting bookings on Airbnb to key workers and other essential stays will allow hosts to continue supporting frontline workers while following government guidance.”
Last week, Airbnb blocked private room bookings and temporarily switched off the ‘instant book’ feature for whole home properties.
The platform has also been offering guests refunds through its extenuating circumstances policy.