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Jax Mayor Issues Executive Order Restricting Hotel, Motel Reservations To ‘Essential Personnel’

Mayor Lenny Curry held a Zoom video news conference Monday afternoon.
Mayor Lenny Curry held a Zoom video news conference Monday afternoon.

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Hotel, motel and other lodging reservations in Jacksonville will be restricted to ‘essential personnel’ only after an executive order from Mayor Lenny Curry goes into effect Tuesday, March 31, at 5 p.m.

According to Curry, essential personnel that can still make or extend a reservation are:

  • Health care professionals 
  • First responders & law enforcement
  • National Guard members 
  • State or Federal government employees
  • Airline crew members 
  • Hotel employees
  • Service providers & contractors
  • Patients and patient families 
  • Journalists or others responding to COVID-19 
  • People unable to return to their home due to COVID-19 
  • People forced to leave their homes because of disasters like fires or floods
  • People using hotels as transitioning living arrangements 
  • People using hotels to flee domestic violence
  • People who are temporarily unable to live in their home


“There’s no scenario where I want or would be supportive of people fleeing hotspots in other counties, [and] come into our hotels and our rentals potentially carrying COVID-19 and Duval County,” Curry said. 

Non-essential visitors who are currently staying at a hotel or other lodging facility can stay through their schedule, but cannot extend their stay. 

As for Curry’s previous executive order about employees in the county working from home if possible, code enforcement began looking into complaints about businesses who are potentially not complying this week. 

Related:  Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

Curry also mentioned the shelter-in-place guidelines placed on the four South Florida counties over the past week. 

Mayor Lenny Curry held a Zoom video news conference Monday afternoon.
Credit News4Jax
Mayor Lenny Curry held a Zoom video news conference Monday afternoon.

“I've asked my team to look at that order that [Governor Ron DeSantis] has where he unified their guidelines, to see if there's relevant action there that would be good for Jacksonville,” Curry said. 

Last weekend, the state deposited $10 million dollars into the city’s bank account, which Curry said are reimbursement payments from previous disasters. The money was sent early, and immediately was used to help COVID-19 prevention measures. 

In the virtual press conference, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said only 1% of JSO employees have been quarantined because of COVID-18. 

“And we currently have no confirmed cases still to this date in the jail,” Williams said.

Williams said JSO previously released non-violent, low-level misdemeanor offenders. People who were in work furlough programs are now on home detention.

Meanwhile, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Keith Powers said the month of March has so far seen an 8% increase in EMS and fire runs in comparison to February. 

The Emergency Operations Center reported 143,000 personal protective equipment items given to 156 hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities in Duval County. 

Sky Lebron can be reached at slebron@wjct.org, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter at @SkylerLebron.

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