Georgia, South Carolina lift pandemic restrictions on short-term rentals
- May 5, 2020 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has allowed short-term rentals within the state to go back to business beginning May 1. Kemp had ordered vacation rentals closed starting April 8.
Kemp said via Twitter that he decided to reopen vacation rentals “based on favorable data and stakeholder input.” He said guests should still practice social distancing.
Several states have closed short-term rentals as part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially by visitors coming from other locations. Georgia is the first state to lift such restrictions statewide, although individual local governments in some states have allowed vacation rentals to resume operations.
In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster has lifted a ban on short-term rentals accepting reservations for guests from COVID-19 hot spots. People entering the state from hot spots are no longer required to self-quarantine for two weeks.
The city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, allowed short-term rentals and hotels to reopen May 1. No new reservations can be accepted until May 15, although existing reservations will be honored. The city has also put new rules in place for hygiene and social distancing measures at accommodations.
Horry County, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, and Georgetown County have also allowed vacation rentals to reopen.
Meanwhile, in Florida, short-term rentals must remain closed under a new executive order issued by Governor Ron DeSantis outlining the first phase of the state’s reopening plan.
On March 27, DeSantis ordered all vacation rentals in the state to suspend operations until at least April 30. Exemptions included rentals to guests working as part of military, emergency, government, health, or infrastructure response, and travelers engaged in non-vacation commercial activities.
Other lodgings, such as hotels, were allowed to continue to operate if they followed social distancing guidelines. However, in some counties, including Brevard County, hotels were shut down as well. Brevard County is reopening hotels as of May 4, but short-term rentals must remain closed statewide until the governor issues a new order.
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