JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced the statewide safer-at-home order Thursday in an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus.
The move comes as the statewide - and nationwide - fight to gain control on the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus intensifies.
On Your Side knows you have questions about the order, and we're here to help get you the information you need.
When does Florida's safer-at-home order take effect?
The order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. April 3.
What does it do?
Everyone living in the state is being told to remain in their homes except for essential services and activities. The order will limit movement and personal interactions outside the home.
What is allowed under Florida's safer-at-home order?
DeSantis said he and his team used the Department of Homeland Security guide to list services and businesses that will be allowed to remain open during the safer-at-home order.
A safer-at-home order does not mean Floridians can't go outside. These orders essentially mean everyone should limit how much they leave their house other than for essential activities and outdoor exercise. Yes, you can still walk your dog, jog in your neighborhood and go to the grocery store.
How does it affect businesses?
Businesses that are deemed non-essential will have to close to the public, but DeSantis said some non-essential businesses like restaurants can still operate and deliver food.
What will be open under the safer-at-home order?
The order says it does not bar people from working from home and encourages businesses and organizations that can deliver or provide carry-out service to do so.
Essential activities outlined in the order include attending religious services in churches and other houses of worship, recreational activities (with social distancing) like walking and biking, taking care of pets and caring for a loved one or a friend in need.
What is a critical infrastructure?
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the following are considered essential:
- Healthcare/Public Health (i.e. Hospitals and Doctors)
- Law Enforcement, Public Safety and First Responders (i.e. Police and Emergency Management Services)
- Food and Agriculture (i.e. Farmers and food manufacturers)
- Energy (i.e. Natural Gas and Nuclear facilities)
- Water and Wastewater (i.e. Water Department)
- Transportation and Logistics (i.e. Trucking and shipping)
- Public Works and Infrastructure (i.e. Safety inspectors for public facilities including dams, bridges, etc.)
- Communications and Information Technology (i.e. maintainers of communications infrastructures, such as wireless, internet and cable providers)
- Community and Local Government (i.e. federal, state, local, tribal and territorial employees who support Mission Essential Functions)
- Critical Manufacturing (i.e. metals, PPE, supply chain minerals and employees that support other essential services)
- Hazardous Materials (i.e. healthcare waste and nuclear facilities)
- Financial Services (i.e. banks)
- Chemical (i.e. workers supporting the chemical and industrial gas supply chains)
- Defense Industrial (i.e. essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal government and U.S. Military)
- Commercial Facilities (i.e. workers who support the supply chain of building materials)
- Residential/Shelter Facilities (i.e. workers independent care services)
- Hygiene Products and Services (i.e. laundromats, personal and household goods repair and maintenance)
Can I go to church?
According to the statewide order, yes. But, it's more complicated than that.
Gov. DeSantis said in a press conference Thursday that churches perform an important service to people in a time like this and are allowed to have services in-person, as long as they follow guidelines and practice social distancing.
Can I go boating?
Yes. As long as you're practicing safe boating and social distancing practices and avoiding large groups of people.
a. Healthcare providers, including, but not limited to, hospitals, doctors' and dentists' offices, urgent care centers, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, physical therapists, mental health professionals, psychiatrists, therapists, and pharmacies;
b. Grocery stores, farmers' markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This authorization includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences;
c. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
d. Businesses that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
e. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
f. Gas stations; new and used automobile dealerships; and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities, provided however that such businesses should ensure that customers practice the social distancing as advised by the CDC;
g. Banks and related financial institutions;
h. Hardware stores;
i. Contractors and other tradesmen, appliance repair personnel, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other structures;
j. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
k. Private colleges, trade schools, and technical colleges, but only as needed to facilitate online or distance learning and university, college, or technical college residence halls, to the extent needed to accommodate students who cannot return to their homes;
l. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
m. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but subject to the limitations and requirements of Emergency Order 2020-1. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;
n. Businesses that supply office products needed for people to work from home;
o. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate, and which do not interact with the general public;
p. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods, or services directly to residences;
q. Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services via automobile, truck, bus, or train;
r. Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
s. Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and adult daycare centers, and senior residential facilities;
t. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist with compliance with legally mandated activities;
u. Landscape and pool care businesses, including residential landscape and pool care services;
v. Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, childcare facilities should operate under the following mandatory conditions:
1. Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 10 or fewer (inclusive of childcare providers for the group).
2. Children and child care providers shall not change from one group to another.
3. If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix or interact with each other.
w. Businesses operating at any airport, seaport, or other government facilities, including parks and government offices;
x. Pet supply stores;
y. Logistics providers; including warehouses; trucking, consolidators, fumigators, and handlers;
z. Telecommunications providers, including sales of computer or telecommunications devices and the provision of home telecommunications;
aa. Provision of propane or natural gas;
bb. Office space and administrative support necessary to perform any of the above-listed activities;
cc. Open construction sites, irrespective of the type of building;
dd. Architectural, engineering, or land surveying services;