HARRISBURG, PA — During a press conference on April 1, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that his administration has shut down short-term rentals like AirBnB.
"There is nothing that's essential about a short-term rental in the Poconos," Wolf said.
The decision came in response to growing concern from Northeast Pennsylvanians about out-of-staters using Northeast PA as an escape from high-risk areas like New York City. According to state officials, some rental owners have run advertising targeted at New York and New Jersey residents looking for a "coronavirus-free environment."
Northeast PA, however, is far from virus free. Per capita, Monroe County has the highest rate of novel coronavirus infection in the commonwealth.
The region's represenatives like Reps. Maureen Madden and Mario Scavello had been requesting that Gov. Wolf take action to curb the influx of non-state residents.
“They are coming here, they’re spreading more germs and they are taking more germs back with them,” Madden said in a release.
The governor's office has not explained how the new decision will be enforced. However, in a video post to his Facebook page, Scavello said, "If you have received a deposit for a rental, I strongly recommend you return it." He asked that if property owners already have renters in their home, have them continue to shelter in place.
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