This year, Washington D.C readies itself for an unusual and unprecedented Presidential inauguration. President-elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office in the middle of a national public health emergency, a political crisis, and fresh security concerns arising after the storm on the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob. The capital city will also see far fewer visitors, thanks to lodging services company AirBnB announcing that it would not host anyone during Inauguration week.
This move was made in keeping with local, state, and federal agencies asking people not to travel to Washington D.C after the siege on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Soon after the pro-Trump mob breached security at the U.S Capitol, AirBnB reviewed guest bookings made with the platform. As media and law enforcement officials released the identities of people involved with the riots, AirBnB took care to comb its platform, root out, and promptly ban any accounts associated with known hate-groups or accused of being taking part in the riot.
The decision to institute a blanket ban was announced soon after. The company also took security concerns about more bouts of violence on Inauguration Day itself into account. In a corporate statement, the company said it had been appraised of newly emerging reports of “armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration,” and was staying vigilant.
Apart from preventing new reservations, Airbnb will also be responsible for canceling reservations made before the riots. This includes any reservations made at HotelTonight, a service that books last-minute deals at top-rated hotels. Guests who have their reservations canceled will receive a full refund and hosts will be reimbursed for money they might have earned.