Airbnb blocks some overnight reservations for Halloween weekend

Airbnb (ABNB) says it will block overnight Halloween weekend bookings for any user who does not have a history of positive reviews.

The popular vacation rental app’s decision is part of a strategy to prevent unauthorized major holidays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travelers without a history of positive Airbnb reviews will be banned from booking one night in all real estate listings in Canada on Halloween weekend. The company is also imposing restrictions on two-night bookings for users without a history of positive reviews. Airbnb says some local and last minute two-night bookings by customers will be blocked.

“We believe this plan will help prevent large gatherings while supporting the type of safe and responsible travel that benefits guests, hosts and the neighborhoods they call home,” the company said in a statement.

Airbnb introduced a ban on parties in homes listed on its platform in 2020, in an effort to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

Last year, the company blocked all overnight bookings for listings that rent an entire house in Canada and the United States over Halloween weekend. Airbnb says the move resulted in a more than 49% drop in incidents such as major holidays. In Toronto, the company said more than 1,300 people were unable to book entire real estate listings last Halloween.

Airbnb has decided to change its policy this year, allowing users with a positive review history to continue to book overnight stays, after rolling out a similar policy for New Years Eve and July 1.

Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.

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