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The Villages
Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sumter County wins approval for plan to reopen short-term vacation rentals

The safety plan to reopen short-term vacation rentals submitted by Sumter County was approved Thursday by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation.

The detailed plan outlines protocols that will ensure vacation rental operators can immediately resume rentals of accommodations while maintaining the safety of residents, visitors and the accommodation’s staff.

Rental operators are reminded to review the following important elements of the local safety plan:

Sumter County Safety Plan to Reopen Short-Term Vacation Rentals

As a supplement to the Full Phase 1 Re-opening across the State of Florida, the Sumter County Plan enables vacation/short term rental units to begin taking reservations and accepting check-ins the week of May 18 provided they follow these guidelines:

• The Department of Health in Sumter County provides daily updates of active cases in Sumter County. The Health Department Director will notify the Sumter County Administrator and Emergency Management Director of any trend information that affects or is related to short-term vacation rental operations. The Sumter County Administrator or Emergency Management Director will address weekly any concerns affecting this Plan.
Biweekly, the Economic Development Director will review the vacation-rental operating environment for potential impacts and brief the County Administrator.
 Vacation rental reservations made for customers from areas identified as high risk, through his active Executive Orders, must be for periods longer than the quarantine period established for that state or area. Guests occupying those vacation rentals must adhere to the quarantine restrictions or be subject to established criminal and civil penalties.
• Property owners and managers shall provide a report weekly to the Sumter County Economic Development Office which includes all reservations (Arrival/Departure dates) and home zip codes of renters by entering the information at the portal on the tourism website at
https://discoversumterfl.com/contact-us/ .

Property owners and managers will provide COVID-19 guidance of any local restrictions that are in place during the guest stay and other related local information.

Property owners and managers will adhere to all Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) sanitation guidelines already in place as addressed under 61C-3.001 Sanitation and Safety Requirements of the transient lodging statutes.
• Property owners and managers will follow the CDC-related guidelines that are for public spaces, businesses, schools, and homes, which expand upon the State of Florida & DBPR requirements already in place for safety and sanitation for all lodging.
• Lodging should be allowed flexible time between stays based upon the use of CDC cleaning and sanitization procedures. Lodging units are all different, and some will take more or less time, depending upon the size of the unit.
• Property owners and managers will place signs at each property, highlighting the hygiene and cleaning protocols before, during, and between stays.
• Property owners and managers will ensure their employees or contractors follow CDC-related safety guidelines while entering and working in the short-term rental units to alleviate the transmission of the virus and provide further protection for employees and guests.
• Property owners and managers will supply guests with CDC guidance for guests traveling with pets and service/assistance animals if the property is pet friendly.
• Property owners and managers will share CDC resources to any guest while staying in their units. These resources are available in multiple languages on the CDC website.
For more information on recommended safety measures and best practices for vacation rentals, please review the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation’s Recommended Safety Measures and Best Practices for Vacation Rentals her
e: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/vacation-rental-status/

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