San Francisco, Oct 3 (IANS) Airbnb, the San Francisco-based online vacation rental company, announced that it has decided to block bookings for the upcoming Halloween festival to “help protect” communities from Covid-19, it was reported on Saturday.

In a statement on Friday, a company spokesperson said the cause for the move was a reaction to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and an effort to curb the virus from further spreading, the BBC reported.

The company said it wanted to “do our part to help protect public health in North America in this particular moment”.

Guests and hosts who have had their bookings cancelled will be reimbursed, and Airbnb’s neighbourhood support line will be on call throughout the weekend to respond to complaints, the spokesperson added.

Airbnb further said that it would also deploy more stringent restrictions on two and three night reservations that may pose a heightened risk for parties.

It will also “significantly expand” restrictions on last-minute bookings by guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb.

The action comes a year after a deadly shooting at an Airbnb in Orinda, California, which killed five at an unauthorised Halloween party.




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