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Airbnb Bans One-Night Halloween Weekend Reservations To Stop Parties, Spread Of COVID

(CBS13/CNN) -- One year after five people were shot and killed in California at a Halloween party, those hoping to get down to "The Monster Mash" with 100 of their closest friends should look elsewhere, Airbnb says.

The company announced on Friday that it is banning one-night Airbnb reservations over the Halloween weekend for entire home listings in the US and Canada. Not only are guests not able to make one-night bookings on October 30 or October 31, but previously booked reservations that meet that criteria will be canceled, and the guests reimbursed.

Airbnb made the decision in order to help stop parties and to protect public health. More than 200,000 people have died in the US from Covid-19, and thousands of new cases are still being reported. Johns Hopkins University reported 10,407 new cases and 236 deaths today.

Last Halloween, five people were killed at an unauthorized party held at an Airbnb rental in California. Since then, the company has taken multiple steps to crack down on parties, like manually reviewing U.S. and Canadian reservations to weed out suspicious rentals, like a guest who booked a one-night stay close to their home.

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"The great majority of guests are respectful of our hosts' homes and neighbors, and we understand that this initiative will disrupt many one-night reservations that might not have led to parties," the company said in a release.

"This action is designed to help protect our hosts and the communities they live in."

The company is significantly expanding the radius of their technology that restricts certain local and last-minute bookings by guests that don't have a history of positive reviews on the platform, and Airbnb plans to remind guests that have reservations between October 28 and November 1 that parties are not allowed.

Airbnb has a policy against large gatherings and "disruptive parties and events." Guests that violate this policy may have their account removed, and hosts who allow guests to throw parties could have their listing removed. The company also said that guests may be subject to legal action if they violate Airbnb's rules on parties.

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