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Airbnb cancels all Washington DC reservations during inauguration week

Company says it will pay all hosts for lost bookings

Graeme Massie
@graemekmassie
Wednesday 13 January 2021 18:56 GMT
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AOC says many Congress members 'narrowly escaped death' during Capitol riots

Airbnb has cancelled all reservations made in the Washington DC area during Joe Biden’s inauguration in response to the Capitol riot.

The move came after state and federal officials asked people not to come to the city for the president-elect’s ceremony next Wednesday.

Washington’s mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of Virginia and Maryland have warned against anyone visiting the metro area, which is now under heavy security measures.

"Today, in response to various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington DC, we are announcing that Airbnb will cancel reservations in the Washington DC metro area during the inauguration week," Airbnb said in a statement.

"Additionally, we will prevent any new reservations in the Washington DC area from being booked during that time by blocking such reservations.”

Authorities say that armed groups have threatened to return to the area to disrupt the inauguration.

The company has also continued to ban people involved in the violence last week from its platform.

"We have identified numerous individuals who are either associated with known hate groups or otherwise involved in the criminal activity at the Capitol Building, and they have been banned from Airbnb’s platform," Airbnb said.

The company says it will refund all cancelations and reimburse hosts for the money they will lose from the action.

Violence erupted at the Capitol on 6 January when pro-Trump rioters stormed the building to try and prevent the certification of Mr Biden’s election win.

The mayhem killed five people, including a US Capitol Police officer and a woman who was shot by law enforcement inside the building.

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