Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Short-Term Vacation Rentals Approved To Reopen In More Tampa Bay Area Counties

Pinellas County is the first Tampa Bay area county that has received permission from the state to reopen short-term vacation rental properties.
Pinellas County
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Four Tampa Bay area counties have received approval from the state for short-term vacation rental properties to resume accepting reservations and check-ins.

The rulings are effective immediately -- just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

CORONAVIRUS:  Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis said vacation rentals could resume under the "full Phase I" of his COVID-19 recovery plan -- as long as counties had their safety plan approved by the state.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation signed off on Pinellas' plan Wednesday, and on plans from Manatee, Sarasota, and Citrus counties Thursday.

Other Tampa Bay area counties, including Hillsborough, have submitted plans as well and are awaiting state approval.

Reservations from areas DeSantis has identified as "high-risk" -- such as New York and New Jersey -- must be for periods longer than the required quarantine period.

Property owners and managers will have to follow a number of safety and sanitation measures to reopen, and guests must practice social distancing.

In Pinellas County's letter to the Department of Business and Regulation, Administrator Barry Burton said tourism supported more than 100,000 jobs and contributed more than $9 billion to the local economy in 2019.

Manatee County County Administrator Cheri Coryea said the guidelines will be mostly self-policing but people who spot potential violations should report them.

“Because vacation rentals have been closed during the pandemic, we're asking that vacation rental managers take extra precautions to make sure their renters have access to and follow the guidelines in the approved plan," Coryea said. "(Owners) should ensure that their renters are aware and abide by the approved plan, but also any municipal restrictions in the city where the rental is located." 

As of Thursday afternoon, the department had also approved plans for 26 Florida counties, according to a list on the department website.

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online at

Copyright 2020 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Mark Schreiner has been the producer and reporter for "University Beat" on WUSF 89.7 FM since 2001 and on WUSF TV from 2007-2017.