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Governor's Executive Orders Related to COVID-19

Posted By: Trinity Kutschinski Legislative Updates , COVID-19 ,

With the recent explosion of Coronavirus cases throughout the state of Florida, Governor DeSantis has since issued a multitude of Executive Orders (EOs) outlining directives for state agencies, businesses, and individuals to abide by. 


Executive Order #2020-139 Phase 2: Safe. Smart. Step-By-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery

EXECUTIVE ORDER #2020-211 LIMITED EXTENSION OF MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE AND EVICTION RELIEF


Each Executive Order is linked below and gives you the option of clicking "here," which will direct you to coinciding information detailing each Executive Order located further down the page. 

2020-51 Executive Order re: Establishes Coronvirus Response Protocol and Directs Public Health Emergency, to read more about this EO click here.

2020-52 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, to read more about this EO click here.

2020-68 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19 regarding bars, beaches, and restaurants, to read more about this EO click here.

2020-69 Executive Order re: Emergency Management - COVID-19- Local Government Public Meetings, to read more about this EO click here.

2020-70 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Broward and Palm Beach County Closures.

2020-71 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Alcohol Sales, Restaurants, and Gyms, to read more about this EO click here.

2020-72 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Non-essential Elective Medical Procedures.

2020-80 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Airport Screening and Isolation.

2020-82 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19 Isolation of Individuals Traveling to Florida.

2020- 83 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Protective Measures for Vulnerable Populations, Gatherings of Private Citizens and Density of the Workforce, to read more about this EO click here.

2020-85 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Telehealth and Immunizations for State Group Insurance.

2020-86 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Additional Requirements of Certain Individuals Traveling to Florida.

2020-87 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Vacation Rental Closures, to read more about this EO click here

2020-88 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Re-employment of Essential Personnel, to read more about this EO click here.

2020-89 Executive Order re: Emergency Management-COVID-19- Miami Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Monro County Public Access Restrictions.

2020-90 Executive Order re: Emergency Management-COVID-19- Broward and Palm Beach County Closures.

2020-91 Executive Orderre: Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency, to read more about this EO click here.   

2020-94 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief, to read more about this EO click here.

2020-95 Executive Order re: COVID-19 Emergency Order- Documentary Stamps for SBA Loans.

2020-97 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Municipal Elections In Pasco County.

2020-103 Executive Order re: Extends Executive Order 20-87 re: Vacation Rental Closures, to read more about this EO click here.

2020-104 Executive Order re: Emergency Temporary Action Related to Unemployment Compensation- COVID-19.

2020-112 Executive Order re: Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery.

2020-121 Executive Order re: Limited Extension of Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief. 

2020-123 Executive Order re: Full Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery, to read more about this EO click here.

2020-137 Executive Order re: Limited Extension of Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief, to read more about this EO click here

2020-149 Executive Order re: Emergency Management- COVID-19- Primary and General Elections

2020-180 Executive Order re: Limited Extension of Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief

2020-211 Executive Order re: Limited Extension of Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief


Please note, the recommendations included below are for referential use only and do not intend to serve as legal advice. AAGO encourages members to consult with their in-house counsel for legal advice and/or guidance regarding matters below. 


Details of EO 20-51- Coronavirus Response Protocol

  • The first COVID-19 related Executive Order was issued on March 1, 2020.
  • At the time of issuance, only two individuals in Florida had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • EO 20-51 directed State Health Officer and Surgeon General, Dr. Scott Rivkees, to declare a public health emergency and gave him the ability to take any and all necessary action to protect public health. 
  • Additionally, EO 20-51 designates the Florida Department of Health as the lead agency to coordinate emergency response activity among state agencies and local governments. 
In the time between the two intitial EOs, Governor DeSantis directed the Director of Emergency Management to activate the State Emergency Operations to Level 2 to provide coordination and response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Details of EO 20-52- Public Health Emergency

  • Issued on March 9, 2020.
  • It formally declared the existence of a State of Emergency in Florida.
  • EO 20-52 designates the Director of the Division of Emergency Management as the State Coordinating Officer for the remainder of the state emergency and direct him to execute the State's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
    • Pursuant to section 252.36(1)(a) in Florida Statute, this order gives the State Coordinating Officer the authority to exercise powers outlined in sections 252.36(5)-(1) in Florida Statute.
      • This gives the State Coordinating Officer the authority to suspend the effects of any statutes, rules, or orders that would prevent, hinder, or delay the responses or recovery action to cope with COVID-19.
  • This Order officially activated the Florida National Guard.
  • Suspends statutes and rules to allow for budgeting authority for state agencies to the extent deemed necessary. 
  • Gives State agencies responsible for the use of state buildings and facilities the ability to close said buildings and facilities to the extent they deem necessary. 
  • 20-52 is set to expire 60 days from its issuance. The EO will be lifted Friday, May 8, 2020, if the Governor doesn't choose to extend it.

Details of EO 20-68- Bars, Beaches, and Restaurants

  • Issued on March 17, 2020.
  • This EO directed any and all bars, pubs, and nightclubs who derive 50% or more of their gross revenue from alcohol sales shall suspend all said sales for 30 days, effective at 5 PM on March 17, 2020. 
  • Further, this EO directed beach rules to reflect CDC social-distancing guidelines, limiting parties to 10 people or less and keeping groups 6 feet apart.
  • Finally, restaurants were instructed to limit occupancy to 50% or less of official building occupancy and placed the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to enforce said guidelines. 

Details of EO 20-69- Local Government Public Meetings

  • Issued on March 20, 2020, after the Governor received the requested advisory opinion from Attorney General Ashley Moody regarding provisions of Florida law requiring a physical quorum be present for local governments to conduct official business.
  • This EO suspends any Florida Statute that requires a physical quorum be present in person or a local governing body to meet at a specified location. 

Details of EO 20-71- Alcohol Sales, Restaurants, and Gyms

  • Issued on March 20, 2020.
  • This EO suspends all vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises to suspend the sale of said beverages by the drink or in sealed containers for consumption on-premises, but vendors may continue to sell alcoholic beverages in sealed containers for consumption off-premises. 
  • Further, the restriction in Florida Statute prohibiting a licensed food service establishment from selling package sales of alcohol for delivery, take-out or consumption off-premises is suspended for restaurants complying with EO 20-68.
    • Contingent upon alcoholic beverages being in sealed containers and is accompanied by the sale of food within the same order, complying with Florida Statute, section 561.57.
  • EO 20-71 amends and supersedes EO 20-68, ordering all restaurants, food establishments to suspend on-premise food consumption, as well as, gyms and fitness centers to close.
Recommendations: To note, EO 20-71 exempts the closure of gymnasiums/fitness centers that are "an amenity of residential buildings," per CDC guidelines (social distancing/group gatherings) and the Coronavirus's contagiousness, members are encouraged to close all indoor and outdoor amenities, including gyms/fitness centers. 

Details of EO 20-83- Protective Measures for Vulnerable Populations, Gatherings of Private Citizens, and Density of the Workforce

  • Issued March 24, 2020.
  • Directs State Surgeon General to issue several public health advisories addressing the following:
    • Urging individuals over 65 years of age to stay home, reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19.
    • Urging individuals with serious, underlying health conditions that place them at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, to stay home. 
    • Underlying health conditions that place individuals at a high-risk for severe illness associated with COVID-19 (per CDC guidelines) include, but are not limited to the following:
      • Chronic lung disease or moderate asthma,
      • Serious heart conditions,
      • Immunocompromised (to include cancer treatment),
      • Severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] > 40), diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease
    • Against gatherings of 10 people or more.
    • Additionally, EO 20-83 urges those who have the ability to work remotely, to do so.
Recommendations: Employers should notify all employees, regardless of age, of EO 20-83. Additionally, having a policy in place that helps determine if an individual qualifies to work from home, and implmenting procedures that allow business to function as usual in a remote environment is encouraged under this Executive Order. 

Details of EO 20-87- Vacation Rental Closures

  • Issued March 27, 2020.
  • Suspends all vacation rental operations, prohibiting rentals from making new reservations or bookings while EO is in effect. 
  • This directive includes any house, condominium, cooperative or dwelling unit that doubles as a transient public lodging establishment, rented for periods of less than 30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less.
  • This EO does NOT include the following:
    • Hotels, motels, inns, resorts, non-transient public lodging establishments or time-shares, long-term rentals, or
    • Rental stays where guests are currently staying or have previously booked a stay and are scheduled to check-in no later than March 28, 2020, and
    • Rentals to persons performing military, emergency, government, health or infrastructure response.
  • EO 20-87 will expire in 14 days unless the Governor chooses to extend it.
  • Violations: the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) can revoke a vacation rental license from any parties in violation of EO 20-87 may be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.

Details of EO 20-91- Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency

  • Issued April 1, 2020.
    • To take effect 12:01 AM on April 3, 2020, and is set to expire on April 30, 2020.
  • Directs senior citizens and individuals with significant underlying health conditions to stay home and take all necessary precautions to prevent exposure to the Coronavirus.
  • Following the efforts of President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force with guidance from the Florida Surgeon General, all persons in Florida are directed to limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services/activities.
  • Essential services are defined by guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as those designated by EO #20-89, including the list within Miami-Dade County's orders.
    • A full list of essential services will be made available on both the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Emergency Management website(s). 
  • What qualifies as an essential service?
    • The full list of essential services is accessible here.
    • Other essential services may be added under this Order with the Approval of the State Coordinating Officer.
  • What qualifies as an essential activity?
    • Attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues, and houses of worship,
    • Participation in recreational activities (consistent with CDC social distancing guidelines) such as running, walking, biking, fishing, hunting, or swimming.
    • Taking care of pet 
    • Caring for or assisting a loved one or friend
  • 20-91 stated to it would supersede any conflicting local official action or order issued by local governments in response to COVID-19 but only to the extent that such action/order allows essential services/activities are prohibited. 

EO 20-92 Amending EO 20-91Clarifies that where 20-91 read, "any conflicting local official action or order issued by local governments in response to COVID-19 but only to the extent that such action/order allows essential services/activities are prohibited" to now read, "this Order shall supersede any conflicting official action or order issued by local officials in response to COVID-19

This clarification gave local governments the ability to implement more restrictive measures (i.e., Osceola County mandating the use of facial coverings in public) on an as-needed basis. 


Details of EO 20-103- Extension of EO 20-87, Vacation Rental Closures 

  • Issued April 10, 2020.
  • EO 20-87 suspended short term vacation rentals, effective March 27, 2020, for the next 14 days. 
  • With this EO, the Governor extended the original Order through April 30, 2020

Details of EO 20-123- Full Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery

  • Issued- May 14, 2020, Effective- May 18, 2020.
  • Full Phase 1 allows Restaurants, Retail, Museums, Libraries,  as well as, Gyms and Fitness Centers to operate at up to 50% maximum building capacity.
  • Amusement Parks- May submit reopening plans to the state that includes a proposed reopening date and guidelines to ensure guest and staff safety. 
  • Short Term Vacation Rentals- May seek approval to operate with a written request from the County Administrator, as well as, rental operation safety measures.

Details of EO 20-180- Limited Extension of Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief

  • Issued- July 29, 2020. 
  • Extends the previous extension of eviction suspension until Septemeber 1, 2020
  • Different than the previous Order, 20-180 suspends final action (versus initial filing) at the conclusion of an eviction proceeding when the proceeding arises from non-payment of rent by a residential tenant adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency. 

More information on the Governor's Executive Orders can be found here.