Short Term Vacation Rentals Are Still Banned and Walton County Beaches Open Today

By May 1, 2020Community, News

As you may have heard on the news, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Phase 1 of the “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery” which has been developed by the Governor’s office in concert with the “Re-Open Florida Task Force” begins at 12:01 AM on Monday, May 4th. We wanted to provide you with some insight into how these actions impact the vacation home rental industry.

As we have shared previously, the original ban on short term vacation rentals was defined in Executive Order 20-87 and was originally scheduled to run for fourteen days beginning on March 27th. On April 10th, Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order 20-103 which extended the ban on short-term vacation rentals through April 30th. At 4:52 PM on Wednesday, the 29th of April Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-111 which continues the ban on short term vacation rentals through 12:01 AM on Monday, May 4th. At that point in time, Executive Order 20-112 becomes effective and the ban on short term rentals continues.

During Phase 1 of Florida’s recovery, restaurants will be allowed to open with full-capacity outdoor seating and indoor seating limited to twenty-five percent (25%) of the building’s capacity. Retail stores will also be allowed to open under the same twenty-five percent (25%) capacity limit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidelines will remain in effect for all patrons visiting a restaurant no matter if they’re sitting inside or outside.

The Governor’s plan does not prohibit property owners from coming to their Florida residences; however, the Executive Orders 20-80 and 20-82 remain in effect. This means individuals traveling to Florida, whether by air or by car, from areas where there is a documented high amount of community spread will have to self-isolate for a fourteen day period.

In the matter of the Walton County Beaches, the Board of County Commissioners met this afternoon in an emergency session to discuss the rules governing what is considered permissible activities on the beach. The following is the language from paragraph four (4) of the forthcoming resolution opening the beaches of Walton County:

4. As of 12:01 a.m. May 1, 2020, the beaches within Walton County, Florida, are open for normal beach activities which would not otherwise be prohibited by the Walton County Waterways and Beach Activities Ordinance with the following restrictions:
a. All permits for vending on the beach shall be suspended and no vending on the beach shall be permitted while this Local State of Emergency remains in effect;
b. All special events on the beach shall be suspended and no special events on the beach shall be permitted while this Local State of Emergency remains in effect;
c. All permits for fires on the beach shall be suspended and no fire permits shall be issued while this Local State of Emergency remains in effect;
d. Groups of more than ten (10) people are prohibited, and a minimum of six (6) foot social distancing shall apply;
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