Short-term vacation rentals reopen in Northwest Florida

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PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The state has approved short-term vacation rental plans in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa County effective immediately.

You can read the guidelines and safety procedures in each county below:

Escambia County

Santa Rosa County

Okaloosa County: Short Term Vacation Rental Safety Plan

As a supplement to the Full Phase 1 reopening across the State of Florida, if approved Okaloosa County will implement the following additional measures to enable vacation/short term rental units to
begin taking reservations and accepting check-ins the week of May 18th:

⦁ Vacation rental reservations, from areas identified by Governor DeSantis as high risk, through Executive Orders (currently EO 20-82 New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/orders/2020/EO_20-82.pdf and EO 20-86 Louisiana https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/orders/2020/EO_20-86.pdf) must be for periods longer than the quarantine period established in that Order. Guests occupying those vacation rentals must adhere to the quarantine restrictions or be subject to established criminal and civil penalties. For the safety of all residents and visitors, we will encourage our tourism partners not to rent to guests from high-risk areas.

⦁ Property owners and managers will provide COVID-19 guidance of any local restrictions that are in place during the guest stay and other related local information. All current information related to such restrictions are posted on the County’s website and is easily accessible to lodging operators and guests 24/7 ( http://www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/bcc/covid-19).

⦁ Property owners and managers will adhere to all Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) sanitation guidelines already in place as addressed under 61C-3.001 Sanitation and Safety Requirements of the transient lodging statutes. Additionally, the May 1st COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VRHP) and the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) https://www.vrma.org/page/vrhp/vrma-cleaning-guidelines-for-covid-19 shall be adhered to and are included herein by reference.

⦁ Property owners and managers will follow the CDC related guidelines applicable to public spaces, businesses, schools and homes which expand upon the State of Florida & DBPR requirements already in place for safety and sanitation for all lodging.

⦁ Lodging establishments should be allowed flexible time between stays based upon the use of CDC cleaning and sanitization procedures. Lodging units being cleaned are all different and some will take more time or less time, depending upon the size of the unit being sanitized.

⦁ Signage will be placed at each property highlighting the cleaning protocols between stays.

⦁ Property owners and managers should supply any and all employees or contractors with CDC related safety guidance while operating in the short-term rental industry units to alleviate the transmission of the virus and provide further protection for employees and guests.

⦁ Property owners and managers should supply guests with CDC guidance for guests traveling with pets and service/assistance animals if the property is pet friendly.

⦁ Property owners and managers should also share CDC resources to any guest while staying in their units. These resources are available in multiple languages at the CDC website.
This plan will be reviewed at least bi-weekly and updated as necessary.

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