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Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Ian Blackford welcomes 'u-turn' by Airbnb over property bookings amid growing criticism of people flouting Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic lockdown travel restrictions; but he warns that more still needs to be done


By Philip Murray

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MP Ian Blackford
MP Ian Blackford

A U-TURN by under-fire holiday let giant Airbnb over lockdown bookings has been praised by a Ross MP, but he insists more still needs to be done.

Airbnb has come in for furious criticism in recent days after it emerged that numerous Airbnb accounts were still taking holiday bookings despite national guidance to limit all travel to "essential" journeys only.

The growing criticism came amid ongoing stories of people flouting the rules to travel to the Highlands over Easter, or to self-isolate at second homes or in holiday lets.

Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Ian Blackford has been a vocal critic of Airbnb's earlier lack of action to tackle the problem.

But, this morning, he Tweeted that the global accommodation giant had made a U-turn.

He said: "I have just received a message from Airbnb that states: 'From 9am today it will not be possible to book a stay on Airbnb in the United Kingdom during the current lockdown period.' I welcome this development that falls after the public pressure on the company.

"Whilst I am grateful for this announcement from Airbnb, this should have been the case from the outset of the lockdown. I hope the company has learnt lessons from this. There is the outstanding matter of bookings that are in place. They should all be cancelled."

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