If you were planning on enjoying a quiet weekend away during the coronavirus pandemic, you might want to think again because it’s now illegal to stay in an Airbnb (or a similar short-term rental) in NSW without a lawful reason.

“The government advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been very clear – stay in your local area, stay in your home. This is NOT the time to travel or visit family and friends,” NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said.

“Anyone in NSW who leaves their house without a ‘reasonable excuse’ could spend up to six months in prison and face a fine of up to $11,000 under the emergency ministerial directive.”

Airbnbs and other short-term rental services aren’t technically illegal under NSW law, but you’re only allowed to utilise these services if you need to for work, education or caring purposes. So basically, if you’re just looking for a weekend getaway, you’re out of luck.

“The NSW Government advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been very clear,” Kevin Anderson said in a statement.

“As per the public health orders, people must stay home with the exception of a number of circumstances including work and to provide care.”

“The NSW Government acknowledges that in these circumstances the provision of short-term accommodation is often critical, particularly for our frontline health workers.”

Although it seems like the coronavirus laws are flip-flopping all over the place, it’s actually pretty simple.

Stay home.

If you don’t need to rent an Airbnb for work, education or caring purposes, don’t do it. All of those amazing apartments overlooking beaches and in the mountains will be there when all of this blows over.

Now is not the time to go on a holiday. Enjoy a staycation this weekend, clean out your fridge, do some backyard yoga or read a book. But most importantly, stay the fuck home.

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