Washington, Jan 14 (IANS) Airbnb, the San Francisco-based online vacation rental company, has announced that it will cancel reservations in the Washington D.C. metro area during the week of US President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in response to various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to the capital city.

“Additionally, we will prevent any new reservations in the Washington D.C. area from being booked during that time by blocking such reservations,” Xinhua news agency quoted the company as saying in a statement on Wednesday.

Airbnb has also identified numerous individuals who are either associated with known hate groups or otherwise involved in the criminal activity at the Capitol Building on January 6 and has banned them from its platform.

“We are continuing our work to ensure hate group members are not part of the Airbnb community,” the company said.

Guests whose reservations are cancelled will be refunded in full.

The company also will reimburse hosts the money they would have earned from these cancelled reservations at Airbnb’s expense.

HotelTonight reservations also will be cancelled, according to the announcement.

Airbnb’s announcement comes in the wake of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s warning about plans of armed protests from January 16 through January 20 at all the 50 state capitols, and from January 17 through January 20 at the US Capitol in Washington D.C.

The attack on the Capitol building took place on January 6 while Congress was in session considering the ratification of the electoral college votes electing Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice President.

Five people, including a police officer, were killed during the riots.


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