Airbnb hosts are reportedly advertising “coronavirus retreats” during the UK’s lockdown.
A BBC investigation has revealed there are some properties on the site, reportedly in the British countryside, which encourage users to travel to isolate.
This is against government advice, which urges the public against all but essential travel.
Tourism minister Nigel Huddleston told the BBC: “Our advice is clear. Essential travel does not include holidays, leisure travel and visits to second homes – and people must remain in their primary residence.
“It is incredibly irresponsible and dangerous for some property owners to be marketing themselves as ‘isolation retreats’.
“We are writing to companies today to remind them of their responsibilities at this time.”
Since the investigation, Airbnb has disabled its “instant book” function so clients can be vetted to check they are key workers needing to isolate.
A spokesperson from Airbnb said: “We want hosts and guests to follow the rules, and we have no tolerance for listings that ignore health or travel advisories.
“The government has set out clear guidance on the limited conditions under which necessary travel is permitted, and we have taken a number of steps to support these measures, including blocking private room bookings and switching off our ’instant book’ function for whole properties.
“Hosts in the UK are also opening their homes to NHS and other healthcare providers as part of a global initiative
that has seen more than 100,000 places to stay made available so far.”