The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulations on Wednesday approved Charlotte County’s safety plan to reopen short-term vacation rentals.

Submitted Monday, the plan outlines guidelines for reservations, health and safety of guests and cleanliness of the properties.

The Charlotte County economy has suffered greatly over the last few months, with many vacation rental owners having had no income coming in since the short-term rental ban was enacted on March 28. With restrictions on short-term approvals now lifted, vacation rental owners are looking optimistically ahead.

“We appreciate the efforts put forth by the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitors Bureau, Charlotte County Commission and Gov. DeSantis to move us forward into the next phase of reopening, very vital to the tourism industry” said Rebecca Centeno, vice president of PG Hospitality. “We are ready to welcome guests to experience our newly remodeled vacation villas at Fishermen’s Village Resort. Our location on Charlotte Harbor celebrates the true flavor of Punta Gorda, the perfect setting for couples and families alike to get away, relax, play and make new memories with us.”

Vacation rentals will now be permitted to take bookings over the Memorial Day weekend, allowing some to begin to recover from the financial hardships endured as a result of COVID-19.

A few guidelines from Charlotte County’s safety plan include:

Vacation rentals reservations and stays will be allowed from all U.S. states with COVID-19 case rate less than 700 cases/100,000 residents

Reservations from areas identified by Florida’s governor as COVID-19 hot spots through executive orders are to be avoided for the next 45 days

Reservations from international travelers will not be accepted

“We are thrilled to have vacation rentals reopen,” said Keith Farlow, co-owner of Farlow’s On The Water. “Having visitors able to stay in our short-term rentals is the next level of economic recovery for our area. As a restaurant owner, we see and appreciate that dining out is part of the vacation experience.”

For a complete overview of what Charlotte County’s safety plan to reopen short-term vacation rentals entails, visit www.pureflorida.com/industry/covid-19-tourism-small-business-industry-resources/vacation-rentals/.

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