Airbnb says it'll 'crack down' on New Year's Eve parties

With the COVID-19 pandemic not quite over amid the omicron variant surge, Airbnb is doing its part to make sure its customers have a safe New Year's Eve.

The short-term vacation rental booking company announced it will extend its party ban to 2022 with a few new restrictions – all in the name of public health and safety.

"We’re introducing new products and policies to crack down on disruptive NYE parties," Airbnb wrote in a news release Tuesday. "The anchor of this plan is a ban on one-night NYE bookings in entire home listings for guests without a history of positive reviews."

Customers who try to book a New Year’s Eve reservation in the U.S. (Puerto Rico included), Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain and the U.K. will be subject to Airbnb’s two new booking requirements.

Guests who do not have a positive review history on Airbnb will be prohibited from making one-night reservations for entire homes. 

When New Year's Eve gets closer, Airbnb said it will "deploy more stringent restrictions on two-night reservations" in order to curb partying, which could include blocks for last-minute bookings in certain areas. Though, again, this restriction will only apply to customers who don’t have a positive review history with the travel site.

Last year, Airbnb applied similar methods to prevent one-night partiers and the company said approximately 243,000 customers encountered these policies around the globe.

According to Airbnb, the New Year's Eve restrictions are being put in place due to the ongoing pandemic and a desire to limit disruptions for Airbnb hosts and local neighborhoods.

Airbnb notified its users about its latest New Year's Eve protocol in November 2021. Since then, the new COVID-19 omicron variant has emerged and has overtaken the COVID-19 delta variant in the U.S., according to data published by the CDC.

The national health agency’s most recent COVID Data Tracker update shows that omicron has made up 73.2% of new coronavirus cases while delta has made up 26.6% (week ending Dec. 18).

Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard reports that there have been more than 280.5 million people diagnosed with coronavirus since the pandemic’s start. Over 5.4 million people have died from complications associated with the respiratory virus.

The CDC recommends vaccinations, mask wear, frequent handwashing and social distancing as the global pandemic continues.

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