Visit Pensacola COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update #11
Dear Tourism Stakeholder:
Visit Pensacola strives to continue as a resource to our partners, stakeholders, and community with the most current updates. As our community begins to reopen, we are asking that our partners and stakeholders participate in the Escambia County Phase One Reopening Florida Business Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F9GYMLZ
This survey will help to share updated data with local officials and policymakers and will help to develop plans and programs to continue recovery assistance.
Our team has also created a “While You Are Here” landing page as we transition from virtual back to our new normal. Similar to the Healthy Travel page, this page is detailed with business operating hours, menus, beach safety precautions and more. We want to ensure our residents and our guests have the information needed while experiencing all that Pensacola has to offer safely.
As each of us are having to adjust the ways we conduct business due to COVID-19, Visit Pensacola’s new research company, Downs & St. Germain Research has had to move all data collections online from face to face interviews during April and May. To assist in their data collection for April and May, we’d like to invite you to participate in this research, so that we can document the economic impact of the crisis. In return for participating, your property will receive a free, detailed report of your guest visitation.
You can participate by either:
- Sending out an email with the survey link to your April and May visitors. Downs & St. Germain Research will supply a turnkey email invitation.
- Send Downs & St. Germain Research a database of your April and May visitors. Downs & St. Germain Research will then email the survey invitation to your visitors. We realize that some properties cannot participate in this way but wanted to mention it as an option.
If you would like to discuss this research or have questions, Joseph St. Germain, President of Downs & St. Germain Research, is available to discuss by email (email@example.com) or cell phone (850.321.1781).
Executive Orders and more
Beaches and Gulf Islands National Seashore
Escambia County beaches are open 30 minutes before sunrise and will close 30 minutes after sunset, daily. Public county beaches, including the sound side, Gulf side, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key.
Pavilions and under the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier will remain closed. Beach bathroom facilities will be closed and portalets will be used to maintain social distancing. Hand-washing stations will be provided. Dog parks will be reopened and permitted in designated areas.
Beach goers are asked to limit groups to 10 people or fewer and to adhere to CDC social distancing measures by keeping a 6-foot distance between others who are not in their immediate household.
The county would like to remind residents that the toll on the Bob Sikes Bridge to Pensacola Beach is all-electronic. The new tolling system on the bridge went live on March 20, which was earlier than anticipated to adhere to social distancing for toll booth workers.
Beginning on Saturday, May 16, Gulf Islands National Seashore will initiate Phase Two access at:
- The Fort Pickens Area
- Regular operating hours
- Restrooms will be limited to Langdon Beach and the restrooms outside of the Discovery Center
- Lifeguards will be on duty at Langdon Beach
- The Perdido Key Area
- Regular operating hours resume
- Lifeguards will be on duty at Johnson Beach
- Santa Rosa Area, including Highway 399
- Opal Beach restrooms at clusters C & D will be open
- Lifeguards will be on duty at Opal Beach
- The Okaloosa Area
- The Naval Live Oaks Area
- Pensacola Bay Cruises
Beginning on Saturday, May 23, additional services will resume including:
- Free tram service at the Fort Pickens Area
- Pensacola Bay Cruises will drop-off and pick-up passengers at the Fort Pickens Area
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:
- The Fort Barrancas Area
- The Fort Pickens Campground, Discovery Center, and bookstore
- The headquarters indoor exhibits at the Naval Live Oaks Area
- Parking lots 33A & 36A along Highway 399 (closed for the season)
- Parking lots 34A & 34E at the Opal Beach Complex
Escambia County will follow Executive Order 20-111 and Executive Order 20-112
Executive Order 20-111 and Executive Orders 20-112 extend Executive Orders 20-87 (vacation rental closures) until further notice. Executive Order 20-111 and Executive Order 20-112 continue to permit the essential services and activities described in Executive Order 20-91.
Executive Order 20-112 also extends Executive Order 20-69 regarding local government meetings utilizing technology while meeting the requirements of the Sunshine Law.
Executive Order 20-112, regarding the Governor’s plan for Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery, took effect May 4, 2020 and was updated effective May 11, 14, and 15, 2020.
Local governments may adopt requirements directly on businesses, operations or venues, including buildings, beaches and parks, that may be stricter than the state. Report a business that violates these orders to local law enforcement.
Note: Governor DeSantis has added Miami-Dade and Broward counties to Phase 1 effective May 18 and had added Palm Beach county to Phase 1 effective May 11, 2020.
Phase I includes the following: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/plan-for-floridas-recovery/
- Schools: Schools remain distance learning.
- Senior Living Facilities: Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited.
- Elective Surgeries: Elective surgeries can resume.
- Restaurants: Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with six-foot space between tables and indoor seating at 50% capacity.
- Retail: Retail can operate at 50% of indoor capacity.
- Museums and libraries: Museums and libraries may open at 50% building capacity as long as their local government allows. Interactive shared exhibits, like child play areas, remain closed.
- Bars, nightclubs and movie theaters will remain closed.
- Gyms may open with sanitization procedures in place beginning May 15, 2020.
- Personal care services like barbershops and hair salons may reopen with specific standards required with limitations beginning May 11, 2020.
- Vulnerable individuals: Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home.
- All individuals:
- All individuals, when in public, should maximize physical distance from others.
- Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing.
- Face masks are recommended for all those in face-to-face interactions and where you can't social distance.
- Travelers: Everyone entering Florida from the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York) must isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry or the duration of the presence in Florida, whichever is shorter. People employed by the airlines and those performing military, emergency, health, infrastructure or commercial-related activity are exempt.
- For Short-Term Vacation Rentals, each Florida locality shall submit a plan to the state detailing plans for vacation rentals to operate safely within their area.
Help Out, Take Out: designed to assist all restaurants, bars and breweries now offering curbside and to-go options. Visit www.visitpensacola.com/pensacola-to-go/ to ensure your business is listed.
Virtual Pensacola: created for all to share virtual live events, experiences, and activities. From cooking demonstrations, fitness classes, live music sessions, and more, we invite you to keep adding so we can continue to share our destination experiences. https://www.visitpensacola.com/virtual-pensacola/
Video Conference Backgrounds: snap a selfie and tag us in your next meeting.
Loan Programs Are Available for Your Business:
Apply for SBA Small Business Disaster Loans
CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Information
The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County Coronavirus Call Center is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1 (866) 779-6121 or you can email your questions to COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org
Visit floridahealth.gov for the most up-to-date resource for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida.
We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments.
About Visit Pensacola
Visit Pensacola is the destination organization for Escambia County which includes Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. With over 450 years of rich history and 18 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordered by the emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, visitors from all over the world are lured to our pristine shores every year. Visit Pensacola supports the community vision of tourism by serving as the central body responsible for building tourism as an economic engine for our community through leadership, connection, collaboration and communication.