Airbnb has announced a global ban on all parties and events at its listings due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The company said that the ban applies to all future bookings on Airbnb and that it will remain in effect indefinitely.
Additionally, occupancy at Airbnb listings will now be capped at 16 people.
"In The Best Interest Of Public Health"
Get a FREE Digital Subscription!Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
In a statement published on its website, Airbnb noted that unauthorised parties have always been prohibited at its listings, and said, "When the pandemic was declared, and social distancing became an important element in promoting public health and responsible travel, we updated our policies. We started by removing both the 'event-friendly' search filter from our platform as well as 'parties and events allowed' house rules from any event-friendly listings. Most importantly, we introduced a new policy requiring all users to adhere to local COVID-19 public health mandates. At the time, most local governments were imposing strict limits on gatherings, which effectively created a form-fitting, patchwork ban on parties and events.
"However, in many large jurisdictions, public health mandates on gatherings have changed - and in some places swung back and forth in response to the changing rates of COVID cases - as have regulations on bars, clubs and pubs. Some have chosen to take bar and club behaviour to homes, sometimes rented through our platform. We think such conduct is incredibly irresponsible - we do not want that type of business, and anyone engaged in or allowing that behaviour does not belong on our platform.
"Based on these developments, instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health."
"Steep Consequences" For Non-Compliance
Airbnb added, "We acknowledge that there will always be those who attempt to break the rules. This is why we've implemented steep consequences for hosts or guests who try to skirt them, including bans from our community and even legal action.
"We also understand that 16 is not a magic number, and issues can occur with groups of any size. To be clear, we are not sanctioning smaller gatherings with this policy, and all community members are expected to comply with local health restrictions on gatherings. We are capping guests at 16 in these large properties as one step amongst several, all designed to mitigate any efforts to misuse an Airbnb for a party. We will continue to enforce our party rules against groups of any size and will be taking action both on guests and listings if we receive reports from neighbours."
Airbnb also said, "We are currently scoping a potential exception process for specialty and traditional hospitality venues (i.e. boutique hotels)."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.