Visit Pensacola COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update #9
Dear Tourism Stakeholder:
As each week passes and our community begins to reopen, Visit Pensacola strives to continue as a resource to our partners, stakeholders, and community with the most current updates.
Per Governor DeSantis’s new executive order, phase one of the reopen plan will begin in Florida and Pensacola on Monday, May 4.Per this order, the following will occur:
Escambia County will follow Executive Order 20-111 and Executive Order 20-112, announced yesterday by Gov. DeSantis.
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, begins Monday, May 4, with Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties excluded at this time.
Phase I includes the following:
- 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 25% capacity.
- Retail: Retail can operate at 25% of indoor capacity.
- Museums and libraries: Museums and libraries may open at no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy, provided, however, that (a) local public museums and local public libraries may operate only if permitted by local government, and (b) any components of museums or libraries that have interactive functions or exhibits, including child play areas, remain closed.
- Bars, gyms and personal services such as hairdressers: No change for bars, gyms and personal services such as hairdressers.
- 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.
- Travel: Executive Order 20-112 states that all persons in Florida should adhere to the following travel guidelines:
Avoid nonessential travel, including to U.S. states and cities outside of Florida with a significant presence of COVID-19.
Adhere to guidelines from the CDC regarding isolation for 14 days following travel on a cruise or from any international destination and any area with a significant presence of COVID-19.
Today, all 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.
Next week, Visit Pensacola invites the community to join us and celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week. This national campaign is an annual event that encourages the hospitality and tourism industry to come together and celebrate just how important tourism is in our community. While the week may look a little different this year, the celebration of Pensacola’s hospitality and tourism industry will remain. The theme this year is “The Spirit of Travel,” and the Visit Pensacola team has developed virtual plans to celebrate the Pensacola hospitality and tourism industry. Please see the schedule and join in wherever you and your teams may be able too.
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.
Video Conference Backgrounds: snap a selfie and tag us in your next meeting.
#TravelMemories: Share your 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 April 3, 2020, Governor DeSantis has placed a Safer at Home, executive order. This order encourages all Florida residents to only leave their homes 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. This order has been extended to May 4, 2020.
- 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.
- The Executive Order also requires the closures of gymnasiums and fitness centers within the State of Florida.
- The Visit Pensacola visitor centers and the Pensacola Beach visitor center 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 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.
Loan Programs Are Available for Your Business:
Apply for the US Chamber Small Business Grant Starting Monday
Apply for the Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program
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
SEOC COVID-19 Situation Report #59
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.