I have restricted certain businesses and prohibited certain gatherings to slow the spread of this disease and protect the Duval County healthcare system. Unfortunately, other locations outside the City have not been as proactive or as vigilant in enforcing the CDC’s guidance and maintaining proper social distancing or limiting non-essential travel. Numerous persons have congregated in the state for spring break, cruises and other personal travel, thereby potentially endangering the residents of the City. 

Additionally, availability of hotels, motels and other places of public accommodations are needed for Essential Lodgers, such as healthcare professionals and first responders. 

Today I have signed an Executive Order prohibiting all hotels, motels, and other commercial lodging establishments from accepting or extending reservations for any person other than Essential Lodgers effective 5 p.m. tomorrow.

The following are defined as essential lodgers:
  • Healthcare professionals,
  • First responders,
  • National Guard members,
  • Law enforcement,
  • State or federal government employees,
  • Airline crewmembers,
  • Patients,
  • Patients’ families,
  • Journalists,
  • Others responding to COVID-19,
  • Displaced residents or visitors,
  • Persons unable to return to their home due to COVID-19 impacts on travel,
  • Persons who must vacate their home due to exigent circumstances, such as fire or flood,
  • Persons utilizing hotels as transitional living arrangements,
  • Persons sheltering in hotels due to domestic violence,
  • Hotel employees, service providers, and contractors, or
  • Individuals who, for any reason, are temporarily unable to reside in their home.