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Inauguration 2021: Airbnb cancels all reservations in Washington, D.C. for the week of inauguration

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Airbnb will cancel and block ALL reservations during the week of Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington D.C. as officials brace for further unrest and urge people not to travel to the nation’s capital

  • Airbnb on Wednesday announced it is canceling and blocking all reservations in Washington D.C. for the week of Joe Biden’s inauguration 
  • The company said it was responding to officials’ calls for rental hosts to take down listings until Biden is sworn in on January 20 
  • Guests whose reservations were canceled will be refunded in full
  • Hosts will also be reimbursed at Airbnb’s expense for the money they would’ve earned
  • Comes after D.C. and federal officials urged people not to travel to the area for the inauguration amid fears of further unrest

Airbnb has announced it is canceling and blocking all reservations in Washington D.C. during the week of Joe Biden‘s inauguration amid fears guests will travel to the nation’s capital to incite further unrest.  

The company on Wednesday responded to calls from city officials who urged Airbnb, VRBO and other rental hosts to take down their listings until Biden is sworn in on January 20, in the wake of last week’s deadly riots. 

Days earlier, Airbnb said it had been reviewing its bookings in the area and vowed to ban any guests associated with hate groups or violent activity.  

Airbnb on Wednesday announced it is canceling and blocking all reservations in Washington D.C. for the week of Joe Biden’s inauguration

The Secret Service, FBI and the National Guard are among 50 agencies and private companies that have formed a 'Multi-Agency Command Center (MACC)' to fortify Washington, D.C. ahead of next week's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden

The Secret Service, FBI and the National Guard are among 50 agencies and private companies that have formed a ‘Multi-Agency Command Center (MACC)’ to fortify Washington, D.C. ahead of next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden 

‘Today, in response to various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C., we are announcing that Airbnb will cancel reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during the Inauguration week,’ the company said in a statement.

‘Additionally, we will prevent any new reservations in the Washington, D.C. area from being booked during that time by blocking such reservations.’   

Guests whose reservations are canceled will be refunded in full. Hosts will also be reimbursed for the money they would have earned, at the company’s expense, the company added. 

The move comes following ‘inputs’ from Airbnb’s local host community as well as D.C. officials, Metro Police and Members of Congress that have urged visitors not to travel to the area for the event.   

‘[W]e are aware of reports emerging yesterday afternoon regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration,’ the company added. 

‘We are continuing to ensure hate group members are not part of the Airbnb community.’ 

Officials in the D.C. and across the country, are bracing for the worst ahead

Officials in the D.C. and across the country, are bracing for the worst ahead 

President Trump has been blamed for inciting the deadly riot that left four people dead on January 6 after he urged his supporters to protest against Joe Biden's election win

Joe Biden will be sworn in on January 20

President Trump has been blamed for inciting the deadly riot that left four people dead on January 6 after he urged his supporters to protest against Joe Biden’s election win 

It comes after Airbnb on Monday unveiled its seven-step ‘Capitol Safety Plan’ for the inauguration that would impose additional security checks to its policy and bar individuals involved in last week’s insurrection. 

The company warned all guests in the Washington region that it may bring legal action against them if they are members of hate groups or if they plan violent activities. 

It also urged hosts to call a hotline if they suspect guests are violating Airbnb’s policy.

Airbnb has had a policy of removing guests who are confirmed to be members of hate groups since 2017, when it blocked guests who were headed to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

The company on Monday said it was also banning from its platform anyone who engaged in criminal activity last week. 

The company said it is cross-referencing arrest records to determine who should be removed. The company wouldn’t say Monday how many people it had removed so far.

The San Francisco-based home sharing company also said Monday that it won´t give political donations to the Republicans who voted against certifying the results of the election last week. Airbnb joined Marriott, AT&T and others in taking that stand.

Airbnb´s political action committee donated $866,519 to candidates and political parties in the 2020 election cycle, according to Open Secrets, which monitors campaign finance donations. Democratic President-elect Joe Biden was the biggest recipient of Airbnb donations.

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