Airbnb announces plan to prevent large New Year's Eve house parties amid COVID pandemic

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By RADIO.COM

As the world continues to see COVID-19 cases rise, Airbnb has revealed a plan to protect others on New Year’s Eve during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Airbnb, the company has strict restrictions for NYE bookings to discourage unauthorized house parties and large gatherings.

“We have carefully developed this New Year’s Eve initiative informed by [host] feedback along with a review of our data, systems and tools,” Airbnb said in a statement. “We believe this plan will help prevent large gatherings while supporting the type of safe, responsible travel that benefits guests, hosts and the neighborhoods they call home.”

The new rules will make it challenging for guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb to make local and last-minute reservations.

There will be a two-night minimum booking for entire-home listings for guests who do not have a history of positive reviews in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Guests with excellent reviews who have booked one-night reservations in the past will not face restriction, “allowing a pathway for guests who have demonstrated a commitment to being a responsible traveler through their histories of positive reviews,” Airbnb said.

Once a booking is authorized for New Year’s Eve, guests must make a promise not to throw an unauthorized party and know that they may face legal action if they break the rules.

"This plan marks the latest of a number of recent changes to our platform to meet this specific public health moment, prioritize safe and responsible travel, and do our part to try and stop large gatherings that can spread this virus," the company said.

In October, the company cracked down on Halloween rentals to curb unauthorized partying.

Airbnb created rules that banned one-night rentals of entire homes on October 30 or October 31. Any reservations that were already made were refunded. The company looked into more extended stays as well.

If a two or three-night rental of an entire home was made nearby to where guests live, Airbnb questioned that reservation.

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