‘No evidence’ platform facilitates lockout violations

Airbnb has refuted claims by a Cork senator that it is allowing reservations to be used for parties and drinking during the lockdown, saying there is “no evidence” to back up its claims and that it takes public health policies very seriously.

Tim Lombard claimed in a Seanad session that the property vacation rental website “goes wild” during the Level 5 lockdown by facilitating egregious violations, including parties and binge drinking in areas rural.

He cited a recent example in Kinsale where seven people from seven households were found in a property.

“The big problem we have in our part of the world is that we have gross violations of level 5 restrictions.

“What is really happening is this phenomenon of weekend house parties where houses are rented out, whether in scenic parts of Ireland or rural Ireland, and they become parties. to drink for two nights, “said the senator from Fine Gael.

Regulations must be in place to prevent it, Lombard said.

However, Airbnb strongly denied these claims.

In a statement to Irish Examiner, Airbnb said, “We have not seen any evidence to support these claims.

Parties are off on Airbnb, and we take swift and vigorous action against those who violate our strict policies.

“In a recent crackdown on anti-social behavior, Airbnb removed or suspended 2,500 listings across Europe, and our Neighbors helpline makes it easy for anyone to point out concerns.

“We want to be good partners for communities and remind all hosts and guests to follow the rules, and we share clear information about government travel restrictions.”

People from seven different households were found in a rented house in Kinsale, Cork.

Mr Lombard pointed to the fact that hundreds of bookings are still available for dates during the lockdown on Airbnb’s website in Cork alone, with thousands across Ireland.

People familiar with Airbnb’s practices in Ireland told the Irish Examiner that they have not had specific issues brought to attention for investigation; and that when issues arise, action is taken and assistance is provided to gardaí to the extent possible.

Focusing on available ad search results and equating them to bookings was misleading, while inferring that it indicated wrongdoing on the part of the global giant, they added.

Airbnb has removed more than 2,500 listings across Europe in recent months as various countries grapple with movement restrictions during the Covid-19 crisis.

Customers who are currently researching Airbnb options anywhere in Ireland are advised to review travel restrictions before booking.

Airbnb insiders also pointed out that homes should be used in the short term for essential workers, such as medical staff. Mr Lombard’s comments took nothing into account, they said.

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