DeSantis suspends vacation rentals; Airbnb offers refunds
In another effort to keep tourists infected with the coronavirus from vacationing in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday signed an order banning vacation rentals, including Airbnbs, from renting rooms and homes to vacationers until April 10 at least.
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Under the decree, vacation rentals such as Airbnb are prohibited from making new bookings and cannot accept new customers for check-in during the term of the order.
Airbnb offers its customers a full refund and welcomes free cancellations for bookings booked on or before March 14 with a check-in date of April 14 or earlier, according to the Airbnb website.
The DeSantis order does not apply to hotels, motels and resorts. Also exempt are guests who are currently staying in a vacation rental or who have already booked a stay and must register by March 28.
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Military, emergency, government, healthcare, and travelers engaged in business activities other than vacations will also be exempt.
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation will oversee the ban, including inspection of licensed properties. The department will also investigate third-party platforms where Florida vacation rentals are advertised.
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Violators will lose their rental licenses and may be charged with a second degree misdemeanor.
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