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Airbnb cracks down on New Year’s Eve rentals to curb coronavirus spread

The new rules follow similar measures over Halloween weekend.

Airbnb cracks down on New Year’s Eve rentals to curb coronavirus spread
[Photo: Kelsey Chance/Unsplash; Thom Milkovic/Unsplash]
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Airbnb is placing new rules for New Year’s Eve rentals this year, in an effort to curb parties and large gatherings that could spread the coronavirus.

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The San Francisco-based company today announced a plan that will limit rentals in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Australia, France, and Spain. Under the terms, guests without a history of positive reviews on their Airbnb profile will be required to book a minimum of two nights for any stay including December 31, and any guests with reservations on December 31 must swear not to throw a party under threat of legal charges.

Additionally, Airbnb said it will work to tamp the risk of parties by using “technology that restricts certain local and last-minute bookings by guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb”—meaning if you’re an Airbnb newbie and you spontaneously decide you want to rent that house down the block for New Year’s Eve, “just to get away,” you may be out of luck.

However Airbnb said it will not void any reservations made before today.

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The company took similar measures over Halloween weekend in the United States and Canada, with a two-night minimum on entire home listings—which according to a statement from Airbnb, “went successfully.”

In August, it instituted a “global party ban” at all of its listings, including an occupancy cap of 16 people for properties of any size.