Airbnb data reveals French sought to party in thousands despite virus

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PARIS: Thousands of people sought to rent places to hold clandestine parties in France at the end of the summer despite the coronavirus pandemic, Airbnb said Thursday.

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The platform said it blocked more than 30,500 reservations in France between mid-August, when it tightened its rules and banned parties at rental properties, and mid-September.

Airbnb began cracking down last year as rowdy parties were causing problems with neighbours in certain communities.

With the coronavirus pandemic there has been even greater concern about events where social distancing measures are flouted.

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The platform said it had also suspended or cancelled around 900 listings after complaints about violations and was determined to shut off access to people who do not respect the rules.

Relatively relaxed restrictions were in force in August and September in France, with restaurants open and people able to move around the country.

At the end of October the country reimposed a partial lockdown as virus cases surged.

Airbnb, which has had troubled relations with officials in Paris where the success of the platform is blamed for making it difficult for residents to find affordable long-term rentals, said it had also created a dedicated address for officials to signal inappropriate behaviour.

-FMT

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