Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is moving ahead with a plan that would allow vacation rentals for the first time in nearly two months — but New York residents may need not apply.
The New York Post reported that the state’s ban on vacation rentals was set to start lifting on Monday, when counties could submit plans for reopening to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for approval.
The Florida governor said the ban on vacation rentals first put in place back on March 27 could be lifted soon, though it would require approval from other state and local officials. The move would allow a key part of the state’s economy to begin creeping back and respond to calls from property owners and management companies to allow rentals once again.
But the rental ban could remain in place for New York residents. The Bradenton Herald reported that DeSantis made it clear he would not lift the ban if New Yorkers were allowed to rent properties.
“If you tell me you’re going to rent them out to people from New York City, I’m probably not going to approve that, OK?” DeSantis reportedly said this week. “If you’re saying that you’re going to rent it out to people in other parts of Florida or something that would be manageable, if there’s ways in there that clearly you have an eye to safety, then I’m fine.”
It was not clear if DeSantis was discriminating against New York residents specifically or expressing hesitancy to allow rentals to go to out-of-staters in general. But this is not the first time that Florida has been accused of taking extra precautions against allowing New Yorkers into the state. Back in late March, the state set up checkpoints along highways and called on state troopers to screen for New Yorkers fleeing the coronavirus outbreak, which at the time had hit New York City harder than any other part of the country.
DeSantis said he believed the checkpoints would be necessary as the state tried to stem the spread of the deadly virus.
“I think it’s in everybody’s interest that we deal with the spread that we have here now, try to blunt it, flatten the curve, but we don’t allow importing new infections,” the governor said, via the Tampa Bay Times.
It was not clear when the first vacation rentals could start to reopen in Florida, or whether counties submitting plans would include restrictions on out-of-state residents.