Hillsborough County Clerk of Courts office is suspending marriage ceremonies indefinitely in response to the coronavirus.
The clerk’s office is canceling all marriage appointments after Tuesday, and it will not be taking new appointments until further notice.
The clerk’s office will continue issuing marriage licenses, but courthouse weddings are, at least for now, a no-go.
The office reminds couples that any qualified notary public in Florida can perform marriage ceremonies, so while the courthouse wedding might not be an option, perhaps a backyard is.
The agency is also canceling passport application processing until further notice beginning Wednesday. Appointments after Tuesday will be canceled and the office is not scheduling further appointments at this time.
The announcement comes after several new social distancing mandates are going into effect this week. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that bars would be closing statewide for 30-days beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday. DeSantis also ordered all restaurants to operate at half capacity to promote social distancing.
Florida beaches remain open, but no group larger than 10 may gather. That number is based on guidance from President Donald Trump to avoid gathering in groups larger than 10.
In St. Petersburg, any gatherings of 50 or more people are banned including those on private property. The city also moved its last call for alcohol from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m.
As of Tuesday night, 215 people had tested positive for the coronavirus in Florida. That number includes 21 individuals who were tested in Florida, but are from out of state. Nine cases have been reported in Hillsborough County. Seven people in Florida have so far died from the virus, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The state has so far tested 2,294 individuals. Of those tests, 1,061 are pending, which means the number of cases will likely increase as results come in.
So far 6,423 cases have been reported nationwide and more than 197,000 worldwide.