Online property rental company Airbnb, Inc. is refusing all one-night reservations and bookings over Halloween weekend in the U.S. and Canada. The company wants to stop parties and prevent gatherings that might spread the coronavirus.
Airbnb users will no longer be able to book one-night stays at U.S. and Canada homes, it said.
As well as blocking bookings from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, the company said it would cancel previous bookings and reservations for the weekend that didn't meet "criteria." Canceled bookings will be reimbursed, the company said.
Airbnb decided to bar bookings for the Halloween weekend to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus. In the past, guests often booked homes and properties over holiday weekends for parties.
Data from Johns Hopkins University shows coronavirus cases in the U.S. are rising. The pandemic has so far infected more than 7.6 million people and 214,000 deaths have been attributed to the virus.
"The great majority of guests are respectful of our hosts' homes and neighbors and we understand that this initiative will disrupt many one-night reservations that might not have led to parties," Airbnb said.
The company said the decision was to protect public health and ensure the safety of its hosts and the communities they live in. Airbnb will use automated software to determine last-minute bookings -including local bookings and those made by guests that don't have existing positive reviews.
Airbnb prohibits gathering, parties and events. Violators might have membership canceled. Hosts allowing parties might also be penalized and their listings removed.