Airbnb owners accepting no-questions-asked bookings ‘disappointing’, says Cork senator

A senator from Cork described reports that 40% of Airbnb owners accepted reservations during the Level 5 lockdown without questioning the reasons for the stay as “very disappointing”.

Speaking to Clare Fm’s Morning Focus, Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard reiterated his calls for the online booking platform to be suspended during the Level 5 lockdown.

“In my opinion, there is no need for this website to work when you have a scenario where you have to stay in your county or within a 5 km area,” he said.

Mr Lombard was responding to a survey conducted by the AirBnB properties resort across the west and southwest of the country, with 40% of those surveyed agreeing to rent their premises without questioning the booking.

Earlier this week, the Cork senator said Airbnb was “going wild” during the last lockdown as it made house parties and drinking binges easier in rural areas.

In response to the senator’s claims, Airbnb said it had seen no evidence to support these claims and said parties are banned on the booking platform.

“Although no details have been released to us, we take these reports very seriously and will investigate.

“With blocks in place across Ireland, stays on Airbnb are only available under limited circumstances, following government guidelines.

“We share clear warnings about government restrictions and the vast majority of hosts are following the rules,” said an Airbnb spokesperson.

Mr Lombard, however, said the tech company couldn’t even provide a full list of Airbnb properties in the country and that the platform’s guidelines aren’t effective because they don’t verify the reasons for booking. a user like a hotel.

“I think it’s the lack of checks and balances that is the biggest problem here,” he said, “Other Booking.com [services] or other hotels are looking for that real proof, that’s something they have to do. “

Homeowners also have a duty to take care of their neighbors and not put them at risk during a pandemic with high levels of infection, he said.

“We have done so much, the country has done so much, and for a few breaking the rules is very disappointing,” said Lombard.

House parties during the last level of foreclosure restrictions came under closer scrutiny after a recent example in Kinsale which saw seven people from seven households found in a property.

Last month, Gardaí in Kinsale, Co Cork fined a group of men seven for violating Covid regulations.

Gardaí saw the seven men arrive in Kinsale in two taxis. They then entered a store and bought a large amount of alcohol.

Gardaí spoke to the group who informed them that they had traveled to Kinsale to rent a property and have a drink.

Each of the seven men were fined and returned to Cork City.

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