Airbnb bans parties at rental properties amid pandemic

Airbnb bans parties at rental properties amid pandemic

Citing public health concerns amid the coronavirus, home-sharing company Airbnb on Thursday imposed a worldwide party ban at its rental properties and capped occupancy at larger homes to 16.

Happy friends drinking champagne in pool party at sunset / iStock
Happy friends drinking champagne in pool party at sunset / iStock

The ban on parties and events will be "in effect indefinitely until further notice," the company said on its website, adding that guests "may be legally pursued by Airbnb if they violate our policy." 

Airbnb began cracking down last year as rowdy parties were causing problems with neighbors in some communities. 

In November, the company banned "party houses" after a deadly shooting at a Halloween party with more than 100 guests at a California rental.

Airbnb said Thursday that 73 percent of its global listings already banned parties and unauthorized festivities were always prohibited. The company has historically allowed hosts to permit guests to host smaller gatherings such as birthday parties.

After the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, Airbnb removed "event-friendly" from its search and required users to adhere to local restrictions on gatherings in light of social distancing protocols.

But as local officials have cracked down on bars and social clubs, some activities have migrated to Airbnb homes, the platform said.

"We think such conduct is incredibly irresponsible -- we do not want that type of business and anyone engaged in or allowing that behavior does not belong on our platform," the company said.


Hotels, Guesthouses, lodges now open for leisure

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane outlined the changes to the regulations under level 2 of the lockdown in Pretoria on Wednesday. "The requirements announced under level 3 remain, meaning record keeping, social distancing and, ensuring masks are worn in terms of our facilities remain. Now we are saying accommodation facilities can now accommodate any South African," she said.

Airbnb recently said it had seen bookings begin to "bounce back" and unveiled an initiative to promote short-range travel amid a broad slowdown in tourism.

Amid the signs of an uptick in demand, the company on Wednesday said it has confidentially filed with US regulators for an initial public stock offering.

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