Airbnb has announced new booking restrictions in the US in an effort to stop large holiday gatherings that could potentially spread COVID-19.
In a release, the company said its new restrictions are meant to “strengthen our hosts’ protection against unauthorized house parties and large gatherings over New Year’s Eve.”
This approach “will be anchored by a two-night minimum in entire home listings for guests without a history of positive reviews in parts of North America, Western Europe, and Australia.”
With New Year’s Eve less than a month away now, Airbnb said it is deploying “more stringent restrictions” on reservations that may pose a heightened risk for parties.
For example, “we will leverage our technology that restricts certain local and last-minute bookings by guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb and also block reservations within an expanded radius,” the company said.
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All guests globally with successful bookings must attest that they will not throw an unauthorized party and that they may be pursued legally by Airbnb if they break the rules on parties and events.
As well, Airbnb will be operating a virtual command center to get ahead of any issues, with trained safety agents on call throughout New Year’s Eve.
The plan marks the latest of a number of recent changes to Airbnb’s platform “to meet this specific public health moment, prioritize safe and responsible travel, and do its part to try and stop large gatherings that can spread this virus.”