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Pinellas County cleared to reopen vacation rentals

Rentals have been closed for two months.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation approved Pinellas County’s request to reopen vacation rentals, the agency announced Wednesday.

“Based on the Department’s review of the safety plan for vacation rental operations that accompanied your request, Pinellas County has established the necessary plans for operation of vacation rentals at this time,” wrote DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears. “Accordingly, I approve the operation of vacation rentals in Pinellas County pursuant to the plans as submitted.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed counties to submit plans to reopen vacation rentals on a case-by-case basis as part of his “Full Phase One” reopening plan announced last Friday.

Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton submitted a plan Monday.

The plan includes social distancing requirements aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintaining at least six-feet of distance between guests “Including any area where guests or employees queue.”

Burton’s plan includes recommended one-way guest flow in shared areas and marked entrances and exits to avoid congregating.

“When applicable, lobby furniture and other public seating areas will be reconfigured to promote social distancing,” he wrote.

The plan also calls or remote check-in and check-out to avoid unnecessary social interactions and requires vacation rental owners or operators to make CDC guidance available to all guests and employees in a variety of languages.

The plan does not call for a 24-hour lag between reservations as some other requests throughout the state have done, but loosely requires “extra time” between stays to accommodate enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols.

Those include professionally laundering linens and bedding and using appropriate disinfecting cleaning supplies on all surfaces.

All employees will be provided hand sanitizer and employees having contact with others will be required to wear masks or facial coverings unless they are working behind an enclosed partition.

The plan also calls for frequent sanitization of elevators and shared spaces as well as sanitizing shared furniture, including on pool decks, in between use.

Pinellas County was one of eight counties cleared to open vacation rentals Wednesday.

 

PinellasCounty Rental Plan by Janelle Taylor on Scribd

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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