Airbnb yesterday announced a global party ban, noting that some people worldwide have taken bar and club behavior to homes sometimes listed on its platform.
In his most recent national address, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis chastised Bahamians and residents for not following COVID-19 health guidelines, saying, “Some people are even having socials and parties.”
Airbnb noted in a statement yesterday that when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared and social distancing became an important element in promoting public health and responsible travel, the company updated its policies by first removing both the “event-friendly” search filter from the platform, as well as “parties and events allowed” house rules from any event-friendly listings.
“Most importantly, we introduced a new policy requiring all users to adhere to local COVID-19 public health mandates. At the time, most local governments were imposing strict limits on gatherings, which effectively created a form-fitting, patchwork ban on parties and events,” the company stated.
“However, in many large jurisdictions, public health mandates on gatherings have changed – and in some places swung back and forth in response to the changing rates of COVID-19 cases – as have regulations on bars, clubs and pubs. Some have chosen to take bar and club behavior to homes, sometimes rented through our platform.
“We think such conduct is incredibly irresponsible – we do not want that type of business and anyone engaged in or allowing that behavior does not belong on our platform. Based on these developments, instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health.”
There are 4,094 total active listings in The Bahamas on Airbnb, a vacation home rental marketplace, of which 1,305 are on New Providence, 563 are on Exuma, 350 are on Grand Bahama and 307 are on the Abacos.
There are more than 1,500 cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, the majority of which were recorded since July 8 after the country’s borders were reopened to international commercial flights.