Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said earlier this week he has not ruled out a stay-at-home order, but has not put in in place yet so some local officials are moving forward with their own plans.
ABC Action News reports that Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will issue a “safer at home” policy that will begin at midnight for residents of the city. Castor has been at odds with county officials over shutting down non-essential businesses. Essential businesses like gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants and medical care will all stay open. Things like exercising… going for a run or walk, biking will all be ok under the order. The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group will meet at 1:30pm today.
The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners met this morning to discuss the implications of putting the same directive in place there. In addition to restaurants, during their meeting, they mentioned golf courses would be allowed to stay open because of the low risk as long as sanitization techniques are used. Some other businesses like pet boarding facilities and book stores will also be allowed to operate as long as social distance recommendations are met. Exercise is ok so long as groups don’t form. Boat ramps will stay open too, but they don’t want big groups to meet at a sand dune. They hope that the leniency in the order gives a chance for people and businesses to take personal responsibility.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said “This is not martial law, but we’re going to approach this more with a carrot than a stick but also send a firm message.” In addressing businesses that don’t comply, he said, “You don’t punish the masses for the actions of one. If you get one who’s flagrantly violating the order, we’ll take the appropriate action.”
The resolution passed unanimously but Mayor Rick Kriseman says the measure doesn’t do enough. He pointed out to shoppers walking up and down Central Avenue downtown St. Pete and possibly infecting each other. He says the city doesn’t have enough resources to police social distancing for non-essential businesses.
Source: ABC Action News