Airbnb and other vacation-rental sites are now seeing an uptick in demand. (Tribune News Service)

Airbnb and other vacation-rental sites are now seeing an uptick in demand. (Tribune News Service)

COVID-19: Airbnb bans one-night reservations over Halloween weekend to stop parties

Those who previously booked such reservations will be reimbursed

In the midst of the pandemic, Airbnb has announced a ban on one-night reservations of homes over Halloween weekend in efforts to prevent large gatherings.

Starting Friday (Oct. 2), guests will not be able to make single-night bookings for entire-home listings on Oct. 30 or Oct. 31 anywhere in Canada and the U.S.

Those who previously booked such reservations will be reimbursed, and Airbnb will also provide full pay for hosts who had confirmed bookings.

“The great majority of guests are respectful of our hosts’ homes and neighbors, and we understand that this initiative will disrupt many one-night reservations that might not have led to parties,” the reservation company said in an emailed statement. “This action is designed to help protect our hosts and the communities they live in.”

As for other weekend bookings over the spooky weekend: Airbnb said it will be deploying “more stringent restrictions on two-night and three-night reservations that may pose heightened risk for parties.”

ALSO READ: Airbnb restricts young people from renting after slew of deadly house parties

ALSO READ: New Airbnb portal allows local governments to closely monitor listings

This includes restricting certain local and last-minute bookings by guests who don’t have a history of positive reviews on the online platform. Guests will also be required to attest that they understand the no-party policy.

Many larger provinces have been struggling to combat large gatherings in indoor spaces over the last several months. In B.C., parties over Canada Day long weekend in hotel rooms sparked a community outbreak in Kelowna, with linked cases being detected across the province.

Airbnb said it will have trained agents working throughout the weekend to respond to issues of parties and other incidents called into its neighbourhood support line.

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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