Short-Term Rentals, such as Airbnb, Shut Down in PA

Written by on April 3, 2020

Short-Term Rentals, such as Airbnb, Shut Down in PA

By Haley O’Brien

April 3, 2020

Photo | Haley O’Brien / WLVR

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has banned short term rentals across the state in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus from other states into the commonwealth.

As WLVR’s Haley O’Brien reports, the move followed a spike in cases in the Poconos. 

The Pocono Mountains bring visitors from all over, but most are from New York and New Jersey. 

St. Luke’s and Lehigh Valley Health Network officials linked the COVID-19 outbreak in the northeastern part of the state to people crossing state borders.

State Representative Mario Scavello says he noticed Airbnb and other short term rentals posting ads inviting visitors from other hot spots to Pennsylvania.

“There’s a stay at home in New York, they’re not listening. There’s a stay at home in New Jersey, they’re not listening. The president has a stay at home. And that is why this thing is continuing to grow,” said Wolf.

Scavello called on the governor to add short term rentals to the list of non-life sustaining businesses that must remain closed indefinitely.

Governor Tom Wolf agreed.

“The legislators on both sides of the aisle and both chambers were very helpful in bringing this to my attention and I think we reacted very quickly to that. There is nothing essential about a short-term rental in the Poconos so we have shut them down,” he said.

Going forward, any renter taking reservations online will be fined by state police.

Watch Haley’s PBS39 News Tonight Report.


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