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Vacation rentals like this one in East County currently are not allowed for short-term rentals. File photo.
East County Tuesday, May 19, 2020 1 month ago

Manatee County advances plan to reopen vacation rentals

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The plan must be reviewed by state the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the governor's office.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Manatee County commissioners today approved a plan to allow vacation rentals to resume operation, however it now must be reviewed and approved by the state.

Under the plan, vacation rental agencies can accept bookings from U.S. residents from states with an overall COVID-19 case rate of less than 700 cases per 100,000 residents as of May 15. Reservations from COVID-19 hot spots, as identified by Gov. Ron DeSantis, are to be avoided for 30 to 45 days. Reservations from international travelers cannot be accepted.

Other guidelines spell out protocols vacation rental owners must follow to implement social distancing and for cleanliness. 

"We have ability to write citations or to issue a notice to appear, but we are hoping that, just like re-opening our public beaches, that vacation rental owners and visitors will abide by these guidelines," Manatee County Administrator Cheri Coryea said. "We are asking for reasonable protocols that will allow our local businesses to begin operating again and that will safely open our community to visitors again." 

The guidelines now will be sent to the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) for review before being sent to the governor’s office for final review. 

Coryea has asked for additional insight and guidance from DBPR on how the guidelines will apply inside Manatee County's municipalities.

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