Vacation rentals finally have the green light to reopen in Charlotte and Sarasota counties.
Charlotte County submitted its plan to reopen these rentals to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulations just two days prior to its approval Wednesday, outlining guidelines for reservations, health and safety of guests and cleanliness of the properties. Sarasota was also approved for a similar plan Thursday.
But as many families might be tempted to celebrate this weekend, whether that be for Memorial Day or graduations, Airbnb is warning guests to keep their parties small.
“These are very different times, and public health must come first,” the company stated in a press release Thursday, and is banning hosts from authorizing parties in areas that aren’t allowed to have events and gatherings. “Violating this new rule will result in severe consequences, including suspension and possibly full removal from the platform.”
There are approximately 430 active Airbnb listings in Charlotte County and 2,000 active listings in Sarasota County, as of January 2019. Charlotte County received $358,000 in tax revenue from the company that year, and Sarasota County received nearly $2 million.
Airbnb has temporarily disabled the “event-friendly” search filter and removed the “parties and events allowed” rule from the House Rules of any listings that formerly authorized parties.
The company will also cooperate with Southwest Florida law enforcement in any investigations relating to parties and violations of public health mandates.
Vacation rentals are now permitted to take bookings over the Memorial Day weekend from guests from states with a COVID-19 case rate of less than 700 cases per 100,000 residents. Reservations from areas identified by Gov. Ron DeSantis as “hot spots” are to be avoided for the next 45 days and reservations from international travelers will not be accepted, the county stated on its website.