COVID-19 is already ruining summer in Ocean City (Opinion)
In another of the many ripple effects that the business shut-down from the coronavirus scare has caused, Ocean City has suspended Airbnb rentals. The town has decided that short-term rentals of all types are too much of a risk and has ordered Air Bnb to remove ocean city listings.
According to a Fox News report, Ocean City has decided to use the governor's executive order limiting travel in New Jersey as a reason to ban all online listings for short term rentals, and this includes Airbnbs.
The resort town, which has already ordered its beaches and boardwalks closed, is really overdoing it. Beaches and boardwalks are places where people can easily practice social distancing and at the same time get a bit of fresh air and exercise during this long national nightmare. Now, they are ruining the business of Airbnb owners at a time when every penny counts for every single American.
It might be understandable if Airbnbs were like regular hotels that housed hundreds of people at a time. But AirBnb owners should be allowed to rent empty properties to people who intend to visit for a few days by themselves. They won’t be fraternizing with others while they are staying at an Airbnb.
While suspending unnecessary travel may be considered by some to be a wise move, getting in your car alone or with your spouse or significant other, with whom you’ve already been isolated, and driving to somebody else’s empty home or condo to spend a few days doesn’t seem like it would be spreading the virus anymore than it would if you isolated at home.
When you’re an Airbnb owner and you’re forced to suspend your listing, you are also decreasing your opportunity for future rentals. And in a town like Ocean City, which is a go to destination for many vacationers, losing spring and summer income is going to be a huge blow. As a wise man once asked: Is the cure worse than the sickness?
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