Florida Governor aims to clarify the “Stay-At-Home” guidelines

Published: Apr. 4, 2020 at 7:36 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - There are a lot of questions right now about the Florida order to stay at home aside from essential activities. The office of Governor Ron DeSantis issued this information in an attempt to clear up some of the confusion.


When did the Governor’s Executive Order take effect? How long does it last?

  • The Governor’s Executive Order took effect Friday, April 3, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. It lasts until Thursday, April 30, 2020, unless extended.

Is the Governor’s Executive Order consistent with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on 30 Days to Slow the Spread?

May senior citizens and individuals with significant medical conditions leave their homes to go to the grocery store or pharmacy, or go for a walk, or go to work at an essential service?

  • Yes - they may leave their homes when necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.


How do I know what qualifies as an essential service?

How do I know what qualifies as an essential activity?

  • The Governor’s Executive Order lists the following:
  • Attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship; and
  • Participating in recreational activities (consistent with social distancing guidelines) such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or swimming; and
  • Taking care of pets; and
  • Caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend.
  • See the list here: https://www.floridadisaster.org/

If my business is not an essential service, must I close the physical location to customers?

  • Yes.

Am I allowed to continue my business from home or remotely?

  • Yes - the Governor’s Executive Order encourages individuals to work from home.

May my business and its employees operate remotely and provide delivery of our product?

  • Yes - all businesses are encouraged to provide delivery or pickup and to take orders online or by telephone.

Does my business need a permit or other documentation to remain open?

  • No.

Are restaurants, or other sellers of food and beverage, permitted to continue takeout and delivery services?

May churches, synagogues, or other houses of worship hold services?

May childcare centers remain open?

  • Yes - for employees working at businesses or operations that are essential services, to the extent those childcare centers adhere to social distancing.

May gun stores remain open?

  • Yes.


May I exercise outside or participate in recreational activities?

  • Yes - if consistent with social distancing guidelines as published by the CDC.

Can I visit or travel to a family member?

  • Yes - if caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend.


Are local authorities allowed to adopt requirements directly on businesses, operations or venues, including buildings, beaches and parks, that may be stricter than the Governor’s Executive Order?

  • Yes.

How is the Governor’s Executive Order enforced?

  • By law enforcement. Violation of the Governor’s Executive Order is a second-degree misdemeanor.

Where can I report a business that violates the Governor’s Executive Order?

  • Local law enforcement.

Do I need a special permit to leave my house if I am going to an essential service or essential activity?

  • No.  Some businesses may wish to provide a letter to employees to clarify that their business is indeed an essential service.


If I need counseling, can I receive it?

  • Yes. For specific information on COVID-19 counseling, contact the Florida Department of Health at 1-866-779-6121 or email COVID-19@flhealth.gov

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