Airbnb is working to support its Southwest Florida host community following the approval of Lee County and Charlotte County vacation rentals to safely reopen. And we know the reopening comes during a stretch in May that is typically worth celebrating for Floridian families — from Memorial Day weekend festivities to high school and college graduations.
Under typical circumstances, Airbnb empowers our hosts to set House Rules on events and parties that are appropriate for their communities. However, these are very different times, and public health must come first. To that end, we have previously announced that we will not allow for hosts to authorize parties and events in regions where current public health mandates prohibit events and gatherings.
And although most Southwest Florida vacation rentals may now reopen, the Florida Department of Health is continuing to mandate a ban on gatherings over 10 people. This means our new policy will continue to prohibit any type of party at an Airbnb listing in Lee County or Charlotte County until further notice.
We want to be very clear — not only will we ban guests who attempt to throw an unauthorized party in a Lee County or Charlotte County Airbnb listing, we will be cooperating with Southwest Florida law enforcement in any investigations relating to parties and violations of public health mandates, consistent with our Terms of Service.
These same rules will apply in Collier County when that county similarly receives approval to reopen vacation rentals.
Additionally, we have reinforced this policy by temporarily disabling the “event-friendly” search filter, which is typically used so that guests can seek out venues for responsible parties and gatherings. We continue to temporarily remove the “parties and events allowed” rule from the House Rules of any Florida listings that formerly authorized parties. And, of course, we maintain our rigorous work to prevent and address unauthorized parties, which have always been forbidden and reflect particularly serious abuses of our rules during this public health crisis.
During this challenging time, our host community has stepped up in an extraordinary way by offering 200,000 places to stay globally for COVID-19 responders through Airbnb’s Frontline Stays program, including throughout Florida. We are incredibly proud of hosts in cities around the world who have offered their homes to those on the front lines and in need of shelter, and we thank them for providing this critical need for safe accomodations at such an important moment in history. We’ve also introduced an enhanced vacation rental cleaning initiative that we are communicating to all of our Florida hosts.
As government and health authorities relax mandates and guidance pertaining to social distancing, we will evaluate these policy adjustments and provide updates for our community. The safety of our hosts and guests is our priority, and we thank them for their understanding during this challenging time.
For latest information on our COVID-19 response, from policy updates to resources for hosts and guests, please visit airbnb.com/covid19.