Airbnb will no longer allow house parties in its properties worldwide in a bid to comply with limits on gatherings that have been imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Those who want to book accommodation will now have to limit the number of occupants to 16 people, with a few exceptions for some venues.
It comes after the company announced that as part of its crackdown on rowdy parties it would begin testing a ban on under-25s with less than three positive ratings from renting entire homes close to where they live.
The measures follow criticism from the UK’s Bed and Breakfast Association who warned that lockdown parties at Airbnb properties were putting communities at risk.
“While B&Bs and guest houses have been closed since 23 March, it seems these giant platforms have allowed bookings to be made and enabled the so-called ‘lockdown parties’, which have put guests, hosts, neighbours and communities at risk,” Bed and Breakfast Association chairman David Weston said.
“It is about time these global platforms took some responsibility for the safety of their guests, their accommodation and showed some respect for local communities.”
In a statement, Airbnb said: “Instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health.” It said that 73% of its listings explicitly banned parties but some hosts allowed small parties such as baby showers or birthday celebrations.
Despite this, Airbnb acknowledged that some of its guests had chosen to “take bar and club behaviour to homes sometimes rented through our platforms”.
“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,” it said.
The firm also said that to comply with social distancing rules, people would no longer be able to search for “event friendly” properties, or ones that stated “parties and events” would be allowed.
The new rules for under-25s being trialled mean a person with at least three positive reviews and no negative reviews on Airbnb or with long-term plans is not subject to the restriction. All users can book private rooms and hotel rooms using the platform.
It follows the testing of similar measures in the US and Canada. The firm said it had also strengthened its ban on gatherings that violate public health mandates in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Read the original article at The Guardian