Yesterday Governor Desantis issues a “stay-at-home” order that is to go into affect at midnight tonight.
The order has caused quite a bit of confusion as to what restrictions local authorities can add to the order. The order itself literally has pages upon pages of exemptions to the order under the categories of essential activities, and essential services.
The exemptions include activities such as playing golf, fishing, walking the dog, or essentially any activity that can be done while not within 6ft of someone else. Also exempted however is church services.
Last Sunday, a pastor in Tampa was arrested for failing to comply with the county’s order limiting social gatherings by conducting a service with up to 500 people. The Governor’s order allows these gathering to continue and only encourage churches to practice social distancing.
At the end of the day, anyone wanting to leave the house can find several reasons to do so listed in this order to “stay home.”
This leaves enforcement up to the counties and cities. There are 67 counties in Florida, all with different rules at this point on how best to approach this pandemic and keep their residents safe.
Brevard County for example is the only County on the coast that has yet to close its beaches. Although several municipalities on the beaches have implemented their own restrictions. Residents fear that being the last county with open beaches sends the message to outsiders that we are open for business and to come here.
Today, the county went on to restrict tourist and leisure guests at local hotels, but leaving it to the hotels themselves to enforce the rules.
The complete list of essential activities and services can be found here.