Airbnb slammed for continuing to advertise accommodation in Edinburgh despite travel ban
The short-term rentals platform still advertises more than 300 places to stay in Edinburgh, although current lockdown restrictions prohibit moving around the country except in very limited circumstances.
Writer David Weinczok posted on Twitter: “Kudos to @Airbnb for taking reservations at the height of a pandemic – currently 89 in New Town / North Edinburgh alone. Before saying that it could be for essential purposes etc. tell the group of 10+ drunk and screaming guys who have kept me awake the last two nights. Report them today.
Lothian Green MSP Andy Wightman said companies like Airbnb have been advertising throughout the pandemic.
He said they should only offer short-term rentals to people authorized to use them under coronavirus legislation, which he said would include essential workers who were to be in Edinburgh for a temporary period and maybe the people who are self-isolating.
“But they shouldn’t be available to people on vacation,” he said.
“Platforms should not provide a commercial service to people that invites people to break the law.”
And he said Airbnb and the others have a responsibility to spell out what restrictions apply.
“If they don’t specify it, they expose their clients, the owners of the properties, to lawsuits.
“Anyone who advertises them should draw customers’ attention to the fact that there are only a limited number of reasons why you are legally allowed to book them.”
Airbnb said it highlighted Covid’s travel restrictions on its website and included a warning that breaking the law was a criminal offense. Anyone wishing to book would also have to check off a statement that their trip was for a reason legally exempted under the regulations.
An Airbnb spokesperson said: ‘There are blocks in place across Scotland and stays on Airbnb are only available under limited circumstances, following government guidelines. This is clearly stated on our website, which limits bookings to these legal exemptions. “