CLEVELAND — Airbnb announced an early crackdown on any big July Fourth and summer parties planned in Ohio.
Its new eight-point plan addresses health, safety and bad behavior after the CDC approved travel for fully vaccinated people at low risk to themselves. The agency also recommended those travelers stay at short term rentals as a safer option to avoid the public and crowds.
Last month, President Biden used the symbolic imagery of the fourth and freedom to encourage Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine and follow health protocols in order for the nation to mark its independence from the coronavirus.
"If we do our part, if we do this together, by July Fourth there's a good chance you, your families, and friends will be able to get together,” said President Biden.
The biggest part of Airbnb’s safety plan includes a ban for one-night reservations over the July Fourth weekend.
But there is one exception.
Guests with a history of positive reviews may be let off the hook.
“For us, this is about more than just protecting public health. Obviously, that's priority number one, but also just respecting your host homes, respecting neighbors,” said Ben Breit, Airbnb Public Affairs Representative.
This is not the first time Airbnb has handed down restrictions. The company previously banned parties and capped reservations at 16 people for New Year's Eve and Halloween to prioritize safety in Ohio, which lead to dozens of listings being suspended or removed.
“We have taken action on listings in the Cleveland area for just failing to do that and violating our policy,” said Breit.
The company is also increasing customer support staff and providing resources in Spanish so neighbors and hosts can report any issues online or by calling a hotline. Guests may also notice noise detection devices as hosts are being offered discounts to help monitor any issues.
“It's not like a camera where it's recording. It's just basically telling host, hey, the noise decibel levels at a certain point that could be indicative of maybe a party,” Breit explained.
Lastly, Airbnb's plan requires hosts to keep up COVID-19 enhanced cleaning protocols and follow safety guidelines for homes with private pools.
“People may be traveling to homes with pools who aren't necessarily up on what does pool safety look like,” Breit said. “We're working to get that information to all of our hosts.”