Visit Pensacola COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update #5
Dear Tourism Stakeholder:
As these unchartered times continue, your Destination Organization for Escambia County continues as a resource to our partners, stakeholders, and community with the most current updates.
Starting 12:01 a.m. on April 3, 2020 Governor DeSantis has placed a Safer at Home, executive order. This order encourages all Florida residents to only leave their home for essential services and activities. Essential services include activities such as going to work, the grocery store, picking up prescriptions and taking care of pets.
The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 April 2, 2020 to extend the public beach closure until further notice. This includes public beach areas, public beach access ways and public beachfront parks. Boat ramps remain open to the public.
As safety and health remain our top priority, the Pensacola Bay Area is working together to flatten the curve during the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential services still include restaurants and bars and we are encouraging the community to support in the Help Out, Take Out campaign that has been created. The Help Out, Take Out landing page and social media campaign was designed avto 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.
We know everyone is settling into a new normal and we're doing our best to adapt with you. We invite you to share your virtual live events, experiences and activities to our calendar of events that our community can search, and we can share the very best of Pensacola. From cooking demonstrations, fitness classes, live music sessions, and more, we want to share our destination experiences. If you need assistance live streaming or need content ideas, please connect with our team as we are eager to offer this service to you. https://www.visitpensacola.com/virtual-pensacola/
We have also created fun backgrounds for you during your new way of connecting. Check out these creative teleconferencing backgrounds now available. Video Conference Backgrounds
We are continuing to ask all partners to participate in the surey provided by Destinations Florida. This report will reflect current impacts in our area and across the state related to COVID-19. Please use this link to participate: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5511823/COVID-19-Impact
Share your Pensacola #TravelMemories with Visit Pensacola
In times of uncertainty, there is comfort in knowing that the Pensacola community is strong and that we will get through this hardship together. We know many are missing our slice of paradise, and we are asking the community and our guests to share their favorite Pensacola memories to Instagram and Facebook stories by tagging @visitpensacola and hashtagging #TravelMemories. We hope to flood social media with the very best of our destination.
As of today, the following remains in effect for Escambia County:
- On March 17, Escambia County activated its Emergency Operations Center at a level 2 and declared a local state of emergency. Visit Pensacola is participating in this initiative and will continue to send the most up to date information we receive within our community as well as within the tourism industry.
- Governor DeSantis has directed all restaurants and food establishments within the State of Florida to suspend on-premises food and alcohol consumption for customers. The establishments may, however, operate their kitchens to provide delivery or take-out services.
- The Executive Order also requires the closures of gymnasiums and fitness centers within the State of Florida.
- The Visit Pensacola visitor centers in an abundance of caution are operating as a “Virtual Offices.” Staff continues to provide the latest COVID-19 information and resources to help keep the traveling public informed; however, lobby doors are locked to public access.
- The Pensacola Beach visitor center continues to operate as a virtual office until further notice. The office staff will be available via phone and email.
- The Santa Rosa Island Authority office remains closed to the public in order to protect the public health and safety of its staff. Customers will be assisted via email or telephone.
Visit Pensacola’s healthy travel page with up to date travel information and reliable trusted sources information related to COVID-19.
The Greater Pensacola Chamber has created a Facebook page to assist local restaurants by utilizing take-out and delivery options they are providing amid the Corona Virus outbreak. OWNERS: please post if you will be offering delivery/carry-out, your menu items if possible, and any other details we should know as well as if there's anything else that the community can do to help. https://www.facebook.com/groups/203490210906567/about/
The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) and DigiPro Media have partnered together to announce the Save Florida Business Initiative as a way to support Florida businesses during this difficult time. The Save Florida Business Initiative will connect consumers in Escambia and Santa Rosa County to area businesses through the SaveFloridaBusiness.com website, where consumers can be connected to companies participating in the program.
COVID-19 Resources from the U.S. Chamber
The U.S. Chamber's Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist serves as a comprehensive step-by-step tool to help small businesses, independent contractors, gig economy workers and other qualifying individuals prepare to file for a coronavirus relief loan under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The guide has been updated to include new information from the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Assistance
The forgivable Paycheck Protection Program SBA loan application and related guidance for lenders and banks is now live. You can begin applying this Friday, April 3rd.
Click on the links below for more details.
Small Business Bridge Loans
On March 16, Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. Click here for more information.
Damage Assessment Survey
Governor Ron DeSantis has activated the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by DEO, will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the effects the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. The survey can be taken online at www.floridadisaster.biz.
Governor DeSantis has reminded Floridians that if their employment has been negatively impacted because of mitigation efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, these Floridians may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance. Click here for more information.
As a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC's recommendations for using a face mask.
- Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Per President Trump, Americans should not gather in groups of 10 or more people, and social distancing orders should remain through April 30, 2020.
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.