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May 27, 2021

Airbnb extends ban on house parties through summer

Those who violate the moratorium could face legal action and be suspended or removed from the platform, the company warned

Business Airbnb
Airbnb house parties ban Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

Airbnb's extension of its global house parties ban comes as many from the Philly region will flock to the Jersey Shore this weekend to celebrate Memorial Day and the unofficial start to the summer beach season.

Coronavirus pandemic restrictions are expiring across Philadelphia as vaccination rates continue to rise. But Airbnb isn't going to sign off on you and your friends getting together to throw a house party over the summer.

Airbnb has extended its global ban on house parties and events through "at least the end of summer 2021," stating that the moratorium is "in the best interest of public health."

The company sent a stern warning to residents of the Philly region ahead of Memorial Day weekend, saying that any guest or host who violates Airbnb's prohibition on house parties or local COVID-19 health and safety protocols could be suspended or banned from the platform – and even face possible legal action.

Additionally, guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will be banned from making single night reservations for entire home listings over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The company already prohibits guests under the age of 25 from booking entire home listings in their local area under certain circumstances. 

Any further updates on Airbnb's house party ban will be provided at the end of the summer, the company said. 

Airbnb implemented its global ban on parties at company listings last August and said that the moratorium would remain in place until further notice. It also capped occupancies at Airbnb listings to no more than 16 people and mandated all hosts and guests follow local COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The company banned hosts in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic from permitting parties in states where public gatherings were prohibited.

Pennsylvania officials prohibited short-term Airbnb rentals last April in the northeastern part of the state as COVID-19 infections rose in remote locations like the Poconos.

Last summer, Airbnb cracked down on a number of New Jersey listings that permitted house parties. The company suspended or removed 35 listings across the Garden State after receiving complaints about house parties that violated the state's COVID-19 restrictions. 

The company withdrew listings from hosts who had previously received warnings and did not establish house rules preventing guests from throwing parties. This affected listings in 25 municipalities, including Atlantic City, Brigantine, Ventnor City and Stafford Township.

Airbnb's crackdown came as New Jersey officials attributed an increase in COVID-19 infections last summer to indoor house gatherings. This prompted state officials to further restrict indoor gathering limits and urge residents to stop hosting house parties.

One of those house parties occurred at a mansion last July in Jackson, Ocean County, where police broke up a gathering of 700 people.

Another house party in Middletown, Monmouth County last July produced at least 50 COVID-19 cases among teens between the ages of 15-19. 

At least 35 beach patrol members in Harvey Cedars and Surf City tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a house party on Long Beach Island last summer.

Airbnb also removed or suspended dozens of listings in Philadelphia this past November as house parties took place amid surging COVID-19 cases. About 65 listings had received complaints or had violated the company's policies on parties and events.

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