Airbnb announced today it’s canceling all Washington DC metro area reservations throughout inauguration week. The company will also block its users from making a new booking during that same time period.
Airbnb said it made the decision in response to requests from local, state and federal officials who asked the public not to travel to Washington DC for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20th. “Mayor Bowser, Governor Hogan and Governor Northam have been clear that visitors should not travel to the DC Metro area for the Inauguration,” the company said. The company will refund everyone whose booking has been canceled. It’s also reimbursing hosts out of its own pocket.
The announcement comes just one day after Airbnb detailed its Capitol Safety Plan, part of which saw Airbnb banning any person who had been confirmed as having taken part in the January 6th attack on the US Capitol and those associated with known hate groups. In today’s announcement, Airbnb said it “identified numerous individuals” who fell into two categories and took action against their accounts.
While Wednesday’s inauguration is still set to go ahead, it will look very different from the ones in the past. There will be no public access to the Capitol grounds and Washington Monument during the event. Public officials are also considering a variety of other safety measures, including temporarily blocking public access to roadways and parking areas in and around the National Mall.