News & Opinion | October 5, 2020 12:54 pm

Airbnb Is Cracking Down on Halloween Parties

The company is banning one-night bookings over Halloween weekend

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Halloween is canceled.

Airbnb wants nothing to do with your potentially coronavirus-ridden Halloween party. In an attempt to avoid playing host to any irresponsible festivities, the company is banning one-night reservations over the holiday weekend.

One-night stays will be prohibited in the U.S. and Canada for the nights of October 30 and October 31, Airbnb announced Friday. Any previously booked one-night reservations for those dates will be canceled, and guests will be reimbursed, the company said.

The restriction on one-night bookings aims to limit the amount of gatherings and parties hosted in Airbnbs by deterring customers who may have been booking for the sole purposed of hosting Halloween festivities.

“This action is designed to help protect our hosts and the communities they live in,” Airbnb said in a release, while also acknowledging that many now-canceled one-night reservations over the weekend may have had nothing to do with Halloween.

“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 added.

But because partiers could and probably will try to circumvent Airbnb’s Halloweekend crackdown by simply booking for the entire weekend instead of just one night, the company also has a policy against large gatherings and parties. Guests and/or hosts who violate those policies may have their accounts removed, and the company added that Halloween partiers may also face legal action.

Even back in the seemingly halcyon pre-pandemic era, Airbnb and Halloween had a rocky relationship. Last year, the company banned house parties after a shooting at a Halloween party hosted in an Airbnb rental outside San Francisco left five people dead.