Going into the Memorial Day weekend, vacation-rental properties could operate in 26 counties across the state after being shut down for weeks as part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s website.
The list included coastal counties in the Panhandle, coastal counties in Northeast Florida, coastal counties in Southwest Florida and a variety of other counties such as Osceola, Pinellas and Sumter.
Property owners and management companies were banned from accepting reservations under an executive order that DeSantis signed in late March.
The governor did not impose restrictions on hotels, inns or motels but said the vacation rentals should be prohibited to discourage visitors from places such as New York and Louisiana, which were hotspots for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.
The governor changed his position last week, when he said vacation rentals could operate if county and state officials gave the go-ahead. By Friday, 26 counties had their plans approved by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
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