Furious locals confront couple staying at an Airbnb

A couple who ventured to an Airbnb property during lockdown were confronted by a furious local.

The couple booked a stay in popular getaway spot Snowdonia despite lockdown measures being in place, and were challenged on the doorstep by an angry resident.

There have been repeated calls and pleas for tourists to stay home and not visit the region during the coronavirus pandemic, but one couple travelled 182 miles from Oxford in the south of England to Penmachno in Conwy.

The owner of the property, Adelaide Martin, who rents the house through Airbnb told S4C current affair programme Y Byd ar Bedwar that the couple contacted her after losing their home in Oxford, reports North Wales Live.

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She told the investigation that after being left with “nowhere to go”, she was “trying to help them.”

But a furious local who discovered the couple had arrived at the village approached the pair, asking why they were there.

In a video filmed by the resident and shared on Facebook and with S4C’s Byd ar Bedwar, the tenant can be heard saying: "We’re just renting the place."

But the resident immediately hits back with: "No you’re not, you’ve come up in the lockdown.

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"Coronavirus – you know what’s going on don’t you?

"How dare you come to this village and dare spread this, there’s a lot of old people here and sick people.

"How stupid are you?"

"Do you not watch the news and see people dying out there from this thing?"

Ms Martin, who rents the property from her home in Normandy, France, told Byd ar Bedwar she feels people have “overreacted” to her decision simply to help the couple, adding the blame should not entirely be on her or the holidaymakers.

In an interview on the programme, which aired on S4C last night, she said she believed the couple wouldn’t be putting anybody at risk by driving to the area, and going straight into the house when they arrived.

“There’s a young couple staying there, they come from Oxford, they asked me Friday,” she said.

“They were in a sticky situation, they’d lost their accommodation due to the coronavirus, they’d been chucked out basically of their accommodation and they went through Airbnb and asked me if they could stay for a month because they literally had nowhere to go.”

After watching the footage, Ms Martin said she was “shocked” by how “aggressive” it was, and how it escalated so quickly on social media.

“I’ve probably been publicly shamed for something I was trying to just help somebody in a difficult situation,” she added.

“I think people, you know, have overreacted and I think you can’t just blame this all on me or them.

“I’m just trying to help them, that’s all I tried to do.”

Asked by the interviewer whether she understood why locals are angry over the couple’s arrival to the area, Ms Martin, added: “I do understand that there’s a lot of holiday cottages in Wales and I think that people want to go on holiday, and you can’t go on holiday.

A view from the top of Mount Snowdon in North Wales

“It’s so important to stay at home.

“But this I feel is an exceptional situation.”

“They couldn’t find anywhere to go, they were trying just to find somewhere to go to live for the next month or so,” she continued.

“Everything is open on Airbnb, they’re leaving people to book.

“I live in France so we’re probably at a different stage in France to England.

“Yes, I did think if they’re travelling by car, they’re not seeing anyone and they get out and go into the house and they’re not seeing anybody, that they’re not putting anybody at risk.”

It follows calls from Arfon MP Hywel Williams for Airbnb to "identify and delete" any home owners flouting the law.

Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams says a number of properties across Snowdonia were still listed on Airbnb as available to rent ahead of the Easter weekend – and almost two weeks after the Government introduced laws to put the UK into lockdown in a bid to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Airbnb insisted it would not allow hosts to exploit the pandemic and said accommodation should only be provided to key workers needing to self-isolate.

This morning, the company took the decision to block all 'isolation retreat' Easter bookings on their website.

You can watch the full programme on S4C's catch-up service 'Clic' with full English subtitles available.

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