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Sarasota, Manatee counties approved to resume operating vacation rentals Friday

18 counties across the state have now been approved to reopen short-term rentals.

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — Starting Friday, Sarasota and Manatee counties have been approved to once again resume operating vacation rentals, according to the President of Visit Sarasota Virginia Haley.

The announcement came just one day after Pinellas County was given the green light to begin accepting reservations, check-ins and reopen with restrictions.

Now,18 counties across the state have been approved to reopen short-term rentals.

Sarasota County

The county is taking a nine-category approach to welcoming guests back into vacation rentals. 

Guests can expect changes like remote check-in, being provided CDC resources upon arrival, signage posted throughout the rental, and social distancing requirements.

It is important for owners to note that reservations can only be issued to U.S. residents who live in areas with coronavirus rates no higher than 700 cases per 100,000 residents. Reservations from anyone who lives in a hot spot area for the virus is to be denied for the next 45 days.

Any reservations submitted by international travelers are to be denied. 

Owners must enhance property sanitation and leave more time between rentals to allow for deep cleaning. All cases of COVID-19 in employees or guests must be reported.

To read the county's full plan click here.

Manatee County

Under the approved plan vacation rentals in the county can accept bookings from residents of the U.S. who live in areas with COVID-19 rates no higher than 700 cases per 100,000 residents.

Reservations from hot spot areas are to be avoided for the next 30 to 45 days, while reservations from international travelers will not be accepted.

Vacation rental owners will be subject to implementing both social distancing, a contactless experience and sanitation guidelines, though County Administrator Cheri Coryea says guidelines are mostly self-policing. 

"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.

To read the county's full plan click here.

Gov. Desantis suspended vacation rentals across the state on March 27 by executive order. 

"The concern is the people in some of these hot spots wanting to come here. Now's not really the time to do that," DeSantis said at the time. 

Initially, the suspension was in place for a two-week time period but was continually extended until last week, when the governor issued his latest additions to his Phase One plan to reopen Florida.

Counties were then allowed to submit requests for approval to open and operate vacation rentals. Both a written request and a safety plan were required to be sent to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

RELATED: Pinellas County approved to resume operating vacation rentals

RELATED: Florida vacation home owners sue Gov. DeSantis over ban on rentals during pandemic

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