CLEARWATER — Pinellas County has received approval from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for short-term rentals to resume accepting reservations and check-ins for vacation rentals, effective immediately.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said vacation rentals could resume under full phase one of his COVID-19 recovery plan, which took effect May 18, but counties first had to have a safety plan approved by the state. Pinellas County’s Short-Term Rentals Re-Opening Plan was approved Wednesday afternoon.

In a letter to DBPR, County Administrator Barry Burton pointed out that tourism supported more than 100,000 jobs and contributed more than $9 billion to the local economy in 2019, and the diversity of lodging is important to bringing back employment and visitors.

Safety first

Property owners and managers will receive a copy of the plan outlining safety and sanitation measures that must be followed to reopen. Reservations from areas identified by Gov. DeSantis as high risk must be for periods longer than the required quarantine period. Guests must be advised to practice CDC-recommended social distancing, and public seating must be situated, and common areas marked, to facilitate separation.

Numerous other requirements are listed under the categories: Guest Safety/Health, Employee Safety/Hygiene, Property Cleanliness, Pools & Beaches and more.