BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Airbnb is warning hosts in Baltimore not to authorize renters to throw parties during the coronavirus pandemic.
Under normal circumstances, Airbnb will allow its hosts to set house rules about events or parties. May is normally a time for graduation celebrations, baby or bridal showers or other special events, but Airbnb says they won’t allow it.
“We have previously announced that we will not allow for hosts to authorize parties and events in regions where current public health mandates prohibit events and gatherings,” an Airbnb statement reads. “Governor Hogan’s executive order very clearly bans social gatherings in the state, meaning our new policy means we are not allowing any type of party in Baltimore until further notice.”
Currently under the governor’s order, gatherings of more than 10 people are discouraged. The city and state of Maryland are under a stay at home order, which means residents should stay at home unless they are going out for essential reasons or exercise.
“We want to be very clear — not only will we ban guests who attempt to throw an unauthorized party in a Baltimore Airbnb listing, we will be cooperating with Baltimore Police in any investigations relating to parties and violations of public health mandates, consistent with our Terms of Service,” the company added.
To further deter hosts or renters from throwing parties, the company has disable the event-friendly” search filter.
On Tuesday, city health commissioner Letitia Dzirasa also warned against residents throwing parties, because they are endangering their health and the health of others.
“As the weather begins to warm, we acknowledge that it will be increasingly difficult for residents who abide by the stay at home order,” said Dzirasa. “Just this past weekend, we saw a number of house party and cookout invitations go out on social media.”
Dzirasa reminded residents that if they are inviting friends over for a cookout, graduation ceremony, Cinco de Mayo or Mother’s Day brunch, they are putting themselves, their friends, family and neighbors at risk of contracting COVID-19.
Airbnb said it’s proud of its hosts that have opened up their rentals to frontline workers.
“During this challenging time, our host community has stepped up in an extraordinary way by offering 200,000 places to stay globally for COVID-19 responders through Airbnb’s Frontline Stays program,” a statement from Airbnb continues. “We are incredibly proud of hosts in cities around the world who have offered their homes to those on the front lines and in need of shelter, and we thank them for providing this critical need for safe accommodations at such an important moment in history.”
For latest information on our COVID-19 response, from policy updates to resources for hosts and guests, please visit airbnb.com/covid19.