FLORIDA GOVERNOR’S LATEST EMERGENCY ORDER TELEGRAPHS THE END OF THE COVID-19 RELATED STATE OF EMERGENCY

By:

Steven R. Braten, Shareholder
Michael H. Casanover, Senior Associate
Paula S. Marra, Senior Associate

On May 3rd Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-102.  This order can be found here. What does this mean for your association?   The Order eliminates emergency orders issued by a county or municipality that imposes restrictions on people or businesses due to COVID-19.  Counties and municipalities may still impose restrictions on people and businesses to protect the health, safety and welfare of the population, but must do so through the ordinary ordinance implementation process, which is a much longer process.

While the Governor’s latest Emergency Order makes clear that Florida is moving toward complete reopening without any restrictions, this latest order does not preclude your association’s from requiring members, residents, and their guests, to wear masks in the common areas, at the community pool when entering and exiting, limiting pool occupancy, or continue to suspend the renting of the clubhouse for private functions.  For now, associations may continue to rely on the current guidance from the CDC and the State of Florida Department of Health.

Also, while the Governor extended Florida’s state of emergency for an additional 60 days on April 27th, based on the Governor’s May 3rd Order and public statements, Associations should be prepared for what we believe is the likelihood that the Governor may not extend the state of emergency related to Covid-19 again.  Once this occurs, any restrictions that communities have in place regarding the use of common facilities should be reevaluated with the association’s legal counsel.

You should contact your association’s counsel for questions regarding the authority to restrict common areas or amenities due to COVID-19.