Governor DeSantis suspends new vacation rentals due to coronavirus concerns

Govt. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on Friday enacting a statewide ban on vacation rentals.

Local jurisdictions had bans in place before, but the order means Airbnb, VRBO and other short-term rental providers are on ice.

The order notes that “Florida is experiencing an increase in the number of individuals fleeing to Florida from out-of-state locations where ‘shelter-in-place’ orders are being implemented and/or community spread exists.”

From this, the assertion is made that “many cases of COVID-19 in Florida are the result of individuals entering the State of Florida from international travel and from other states, which poses a great risk to Florida residents.”

Because “vacation rentals and third-party platforms advertising Florida vacation rentals present attractive lodging destinations for people coming to Florida,” the order immediately suspends most of those rentals.

Exempt from the ban: stays must begin no later than March 28.

Exclusions are also in place for “individuals performing military, emergency, government, health or infrastructure response, or travelers engaged in non-holiday related business activities”.

Those who violate the ordinance face criminal penalties, including possible 2nd degree misdemeanor charges and possible revocation of vacation rental licenses for blurriers.

“DBPR will supplement this directive with advice or guidance necessary to implement the order and will take the necessary steps to inspect licensed properties or third-party platforms through which Florida vacation rentals may be advertised.” command, adding that “DBPR must alert state authorities to evidence of violations or attempted violations of this ordinance. »

Vacation rental specialist Wendy Schultzfounder of The Simple Life Hospitality, says vacation rentals could have been a solution for those looking to self-isolate as it requires less face-to-face interaction than a hotel.

“How do they self-quarantine for 14 days if they can’t be with their families?” she says. “It almost seems like a vacation rental would be the perfect place for someone to self-quarantine.”

Ironically, DeSantis opposed in the 2020 legislative session efforts to regulate this sphere.

“My view,” DeSantis said, “is probably that it should be determined locally.”

DeSantis issued a second executive order concurrent with the vacation rental ban, instituting checkpoints on I-10 with an eye on Louisiana beacons.

Earlier this week, the governor issued another order, requiring travelers from Connecticut, New Jersey and New York to self-isolate for 14 days.

“All we are trying to do is keep our residents safe. If you’re from one of the epicentres, we probably think you should follow the instructions from your state and local authorities, and if they tell you to shelter in place, then do so, but don’t come here because that we’re trying to protect our people,” DeSantis said.

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