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Governor Clarifies Florida Safer-at-Home Order

April 6, 2020 Business & Tax Blog COVID-19

Late on Friday, Florida’s Governor issued clarifications through a List of FAQs regarding the Safer-at-Home Executive Order 20-91, which became effective at 12:01 a.m. April 3, 2020, as noted in our recent blog post and is currently scheduled to expire on April 30, 2020.

The FAQs explained that notwithstanding that persons in Florida who are senior citizens or individuals with a significant underlying medical condition are ordered to “stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19,” they may leave their homes as necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities, including but not limited to going to work at an essential service.

The Division of Emergency Management has posted and will maintain the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91 Essential Services List online. The FAQs remind businesses that if they are not an essential service, they must close their physical location to customers. However, non-essential businesses and their employees may continue their businesses by working from home, operating remotely, taking orders by telephone or online, and providing delivery or pick up. Businesses that are essential services do not need any permit or documentation to remain open to customers pursuant to the Safer-at-Home Order. Likewise, individuals do not need a permit or documentation to leave their homes to go to an essential service or activity, although businesses may wish to provide a letter to employees to clarify that their business is indeed an essential service.

The FAQs also indicate that local law enforcement may enforce the Safer-at-Home Order and violation of the Order is a second-degree misdemeanor.

In compliance with the Safer-at-Home Order, Williams Parker remains dedicated to serving its clients and continues to advise and represent clients with respect to their legal matters. Our firm has launched a multidisciplinary task force of lawyers across the firm to advise on issues arising from COVID-19. This team is closely monitoring legal developments and guidance from federal, state, and local government and public health officials.

Gail E. Farb