In the days of zoom video conferencing and grammar school kids going to class on the family home computer, these times are always changing. Yesterday, March 30, 2020, was no different. As a country, we are still attempting to control the spread of COVID-19 but balance that need against the impact on the economy.
One way Palm Coast is attempting to help control the spread of COVID-19 is the emergency proclamations that were issued on March 30, 2020. The two proclamations that were issued by Mayor Melissa Holland, which can be found here, parrot two Executive orders issued by Governor DeSantis a couple days earlier. So, what does this mean for us locally? Let’s start with the Proclamation requiring self-quarantine for out of state travelers.
First Emergency Proclamation
As we have seen on the news, places like New York, Louisiana, New Jersey, Connecticut, and a couple of other locations are considered “hot-beds” for COVID-19. While we have not completely cancelled all travel from these locations to the City of Palm Coast, rather, the Mayor has mandated that all individuals arriving to Palm Coast from one of these locations self-quarantine themselves for fourteen (14) days or the entire length of their stay (whichever is shorter). Going a step farther, the Mayor has required all hotels and motels who have guests that are coming from one of the “hot-beds” to inform their guests of the mandatory self-isolation requirement and provide the guest with the mandatory isolation Proclamation. And, to be sure to encourage everyone to follow the Mayor’s Proclamation, the Mayor has imposed penalties to the tune of second-degree misdemeanors and/or up to a $500.00 fine. That means, if either the lodging establishment or the “hot-bed” visitor fails to comply with the Proclamation, they could spend up to 60 days in the Green Roof Inn, as Sheriff Staly calls it.
Second Emergency Proclamation
The second Proclamation issued by Mayor Holland was the temporary termination of vacation rentals in the City of Palm Coast. Again, this Proclamation mirrors Executive Order 20-87 issued by Governor DeSantis. This Proclamation suspends the right of parties owning Vacation Rentals (as defined in Florida Statute § 509.242(1)(c)) to make new reservations or bookings and prohibits any guests from checking into said Vacation Rental. This, in essence, means that all the hotels here in Palm Coast are no longer allowed to make new reservations/bookings and are not allowed to let anyone check-into a hotel room until directed otherwise by the Mayor. And, much like the last Proclamation, the failure to abide by this one is also punishable as a second-degree misdemeanor.
So, the question becomes, if the hotels are not allowed to check anybody into rooms, but out of state travelers from the “hot-bed” areas are required to quarantine, where are they supposed to self-quarantine if they have no family/friends here?