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Airbnb Cancels DC-Area Reservations During Inauguration Week

NBC Washington D.C. logo NBC Washington D.C. 1/13/2021 NBC Washington Staff
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Airbnb will cancel and block reservations in the Washington, D.C., area during inauguration week to ensure "hate group members are not part of the Airbnb community."

The announcement comes after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan asked visitors to stay away from the D.C. area for the inauguration as a response to the aftermath of the deadly U.S. Capitol riot Jan. 6.

"We are aware of reports emerging yesterday afternoon regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration," Airbnb said in a statement.

Canceled reservations will be fully refunded and Airbnb will reimburse hosts the money they would have earned from the canceled reservations. The company did not specify what they are including in "the Washington, D.C. metro area."

Airbnb said it has banned people from the platform who are "associated with known hate groups or otherwise involved in the criminal activity at the Capitol Building."

Reservations made through HotelTonight, a last-minute lodging website run by Airbnb, also will be canceled, Airbnb said.

The groups Black Lives Matter DC and ShutDownDC called for all hotels in the D.C. area to close between Jan. 15 and Jan. 21, citing “an unprecedented threat of white nationalist violence and COVID spread.” They asked that the closures come with full pay for all staff. 

“If hotels do not willingly close, we ask Mayor Bowser to extend today’s emergency order and close all hotels in the city,” the groups said in a statement Wednesday. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press briefing Wednesday that city officials were giving advice to hotel operators but had not called for a freeze on reservations. She added that updates were possible.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.

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