Aug 20, 2020

Has Covid-19 Caused Airbnb to end the House Party Era?

Kristin Kerr

magine it’s your best friend’s 30th birthday and you want to throw a party for them and your entire friend group. You book the best-looking Airbnb with a fancy bar in the basement and a spiral staircase located in the heart of downtown complete with spectacular city views. There’s even a hot tub in the backyard for later in the evening. You send out invites to over 50 people and can’t wait to have the best Friday night you’ve had in a long time. Wait, sorry, nevermind. Cancel all of that. COVID-19 has different plans this time.

Airbnb banned house parties

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has put a halt on many things that were once considered normal. Going into the office, enjoying dinner at a restaurant, entering a grocery store without a mask, taking transit, and more. It comes as no surprise that large gatherings or house parties should also be monitored during this time, or better yet, prohibited, according to Airbnb. To keep up with social distancing protocols, Airbnb has banned house parties to comply with limits on gatherings. Occupancy is now be limited to 16 people, with exceptions for a few venues.

Did COVID-19 spark this rule?

Believe it or not, house parties have been a problem for the short-term rental company for some time, both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Airbnb proactively removed its “event friendly” and "parties and events allowed" search filters at the beginning of the pandemic. "Instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health," Airbnb said in a statement.

Breaking the rules

Unauthorized parties were never technically allowed on Airbnb, with 73% of its listings already banning them as part of their house rules, but we all know there are those guests that will go the extra mile to make the weekend perfect, even if that means throwing a party. The firm says it will pursue legal action if guests or hosts break the rules. Airbnb also banned some under-25s in the UK from booking entire homes, following successful pilots in Canada and the US.

Party smart

Okay, we didn’t mean to scare you. The good ol’ house party is still a thing, but Airbnb is definitely in the right head space. With such a dangerous pandemic on the rise, we need to think about these things in advance. The company has been hit extremely hard by the pandemic but is still taking precautionary measures to protect communities around the world. Guests who book with Airbnb must follow local COVID-19 public health laws.

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