SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Airbnb announced Thursday that it’s banning all parties and events at the listings on its website to comply with limits on gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.
The San Francisco-based company says the party ban applies to all future bookings on Airbnb and it will remain in effect indefinitely until further notice.
Additionally, Airbnb says the occupancy at its listings will be capped at 16 people. Though, the company says it’s considering a potential exception process for specialty and traditional hospitality venues, like boutique hotels.
“We also understand that 16 is not a magic number, and issues can occur with groups of any size,” wrote the company. “To be clear, we are not sanctioning smaller gatherings with this policy and all community members are expected to comply with local health restrictions on gatherings. We are capping guests at 16 in these large properties as one step amongst several, all designed to mitigate any efforts to misuse an Airbnb for a party.”
Airbnb says guests will be informed about its party rules and told that they may be “legally pursued” by the company if they violate the policy.
Unauthorized parties have actually always been prohibited at Airbnb listings and the company says 73% of its listings already ban them in their house rules.
Over the last year or two, Airbnb has begun imposing stricter limits, starting with a global ban on “party houses,” or listings that create persistent neighborhood nuisance. And when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a new policy was introduced that required all users to adhere to local coronavirus mandates.
“However, in many large jurisdictions, public health mandates on gatherings have changed – and in some places swung back and forth in response to the changing rates of COVID cases – as have regulations on bars, clubs and pubs,” wrote Airbnb. “Some have chosen to take bar and club behavior to homes, sometimes rented through our platform. We think such conduct is incredibly irresponsible – we do not want that type of business, and anyone engaged in or allowing that behavior does not belong on our platform.”
Based on these developments, the company says instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health.