At a public press conference in Jacksonville Florida on Friday afternoon, Governor DeSantis gave an update and announcements on continuing Phase 1 of the of the Safe Smart. Step by Step Recovery Plan to reopen the state. New changes to take place include:
STATUS OF SHORT TERM VACATION RENTALS:
Governor DeSantis addressed the status of the short term rental ban which has been in place state-wide since his Mar 27, 2020 order. On Friday, he called on counties to draft a safe, smart plan for re-opening the rentals in the respective counties and submit those plans to the state for consideration. If a county's plan is approved, rentals could feasibly allowed to resume operation again as early as May 18th.
The beach communities along 30A and South Walton are all located within Walton County Florida. The neighboring counties of Okaloosa and Escambia to the west and Bay County to the east all submitted their re-opening plans to the state for consideration on Friday afternoon. A response to the Governor's call for submitting vacation rental reopening plans was posted Saturday (5-16-2020) on the Walton County Florida Board of County Commissioners website stated:
"Walton County has developed a reopening plan framework and is awaiting the guidelines from the DPBR. (Florida Department of Professional & Business Regulation) With those guideline in hand, we will compare them with our prepared plan to ensure that it complies with the DPBR guidelines. We are working closely with our Tallahassee lobbyist and the Governor’s office to facilitate this process and to move our plan through the system as rapidly as possible."
As of this time it is unclear when Walton County will formally submit their plan to the state so they can proceed toward allowing vacation rentals operations to resume.
Additional announcements of note made by the Governor at Friday's Press conference included:
INCREASE OPERATING CAPACITY FOR RESTAURANTS. Beginning on Monday May 18th, restaurants owners can beginning increasing their operating capacity from 25% to 50% while continuing to follow safe practices and providing social distancing for patrons.
GYMS & Fitness Centers to Reopen. While gyms were not previously included in the Phase 1 reopening plan the Governor noted in the press conference the need for Floridians to be able to work-out and stay healthy.
For a full recap of changes that go into effect Monday - May 18th. ---> Click here
To keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 travel and vacation rental information as it relates to Walton County Florida go to: VISIT SOUTH WALTON
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