By Mathieu Rosemain



a group of people walking down the street: FILE PHOTO: The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lisbon


© Reuters/RAFAEL MARCHANTE
FILE PHOTO: The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lisbon

PARIS (Reuters) – Airbnb, the U.S. home rental company that will make its market debut next week, is making it harder to book apartments on New Year’s Eve in Paris, New York, London and other top destinations to limit the risks of illegal parties in the time of COVID-19.

As of Thursday, travellers who don’t have positive reviews on their Airbnb profile won’t be able to rent a place for a single night on Dec. 31 in the United States, France, Britain, Canada, Mexico, Australia and Spain, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement.



a group of people standing in front of a sign: FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of diplayed Airbnb logo


© Reuters/DADO RUVIC
FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of diplayed Airbnb logo

People planning to spend the last day of the year in properties let through Airbnb will also have to pledge they won’t organise any parties on New Year’s Eve and they are aware of the legal charges they might face if they fail to abide by the rule, the company said.



a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a sandy beach: FILE PHOTO: A beach goer arrives at Jose Ignacio beach in the luxurious sea side resort of Punta del Este


© Reuters/Andres Stapff
FILE PHOTO: A beach goer arrives at Jose Ignacio beach in the luxurious sea side resort of Punta del Este

All bookings made under previous conditions will be maintained, Airbnb said. But it added that most single-day reservations aimed at organising large year-end gatherings were usually made in December.

Last-minute bookings by people seeking to rent a place close to their own home and who haven’t received positive reviews will also be restricted, Airbnb said.



logo: FILE PHOTO: The logos of Airbnb are displayed at an Airbnb event in Tokyo


© Reuters/ISSEI KATO
FILE PHOTO: The logos of Airbnb are displayed at an Airbnb event in Tokyo

The new temporary rules come on top of previous measures put in place in August, under which Airbnb forbade all parties and gatherings of more than 16 people in its listed flats worldwide to limit the spreading of the novel coronavirus.



a person standing on a sidewalk: FILE PHOTO: A tourist walks with his suitcase, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Barcelona


© Reuters/NACHO DOCE
FILE PHOTO: A tourist walks with his suitcase, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Barcelona

The firm also made it impossible to rent a full home for a single night on Halloween in the United States and Canada to prevent illegal parties.

Airbnb’s new restrictions come a few days before its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq stock market, which it hopes will help it gain a valuation of up to $35 billion.

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Continue Reading

Source Article