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DeSantis orders two-week ban on vacation rentals

March 27, 2020
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a temporary ban for two weeks on all new vacation rentals as part of his latest response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ban on vacation rentals prohibits any such commerce involving guests who after Saturday, March 28. Those who have checked in by March 28, will be allowed to stay in their vacation rentals.

The order calls on all parties engaged in rental of vacation rental properties to suspend vacation rental operations. "Vacation rentals are prohibited from making new reservations or bookings and shall not accept new guests for check-in for the duration of this order."

Vacation rentals are defined as the rental of any "house, condominium, cooperative, or dwelling unit that is also a transient public lodging establishment" for less than 30 days or one calendar month. The order would extend to Airbnb rentals.

The order exempts long-term rentals, hotels, motels, inns, resorts, non-transient public lodging establishments or time share projects.

Other exemptions are allowed for any rentals to travelers engaged in non-vacation commercial activities, people performing military, emergency, governmental, health or infrastructure response.

Any violations of the order could result in a misdemeanor charge.

DeSantis said on Friday at a press conference that he does not intend at this time to issue any shelter-in-place orders, saying he would leave it up to localities to decide.

Food assistance for families

DeSantis also stated in a press conference Friday that he was taking steps to increase the maximum amount a family of Florida can receive through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program, formerly known as food stamp benefits, will now offer a family of four the maximum amount of $509, an increase from Florida's current offering of $449. States have flexibility in choosing the maximum amount of SNAP benefits they can offer citizens. Florida's unemployment assistance program also offers laid-off workers a weekly amount that is even further below the maximum allowable.



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