What’s Essential Work and What’s Not: How Florida’s 30-Day Stay-at-Home Order Impacts Business

April 2, 2020 | Client Alerts
Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order (amended) (the "Order") instructing the state of Florida to "take a pause" for 30 days and stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic. The statewide Order will go into effect at 12:01 Friday, April 3. In the interest of preserving public health and safety, all Florida "non-essential retail and commercial businesses" to temporarily close and all residents "should only leave their home to conduct certain 'essential activities.'" 
 
Non-Essential Businesses
Non-essential retail and commercial businesses temporarily ordered to close include, but are not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, water parks, pools, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, children's play centers, playgrounds, theme parks, bowling alleys, pool halls, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, country clubs, social clubs, and fraternal organizations.
 
Essential Businesses
Essential businesses may remain open. The Order identifies 41 categories of business as crucial, with primary categories listed below:
  • Healthcare providers and public health operations;
  • Food and household products and services;
  • Companies that provide services for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
  • Housing providers;
  • Media services;
  • Providers of propane or natural gas;
  • Legal or accounting services and notaries public;
  • Auto-related facilities;
  • Banks and related financial institutions;
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services;
  • Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but subject to federal, state and local emergency order limitations and requirements;
  • Businesses that sell medical equipment and supply providers;
  • Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers;
  • Home-based care, and facilities that care for seniors, adults, or children;
  • Businesses operating at an airport, government facility, or government office;
  • Construction sites, architectural, engineering and land surveying services;
  • Waste management services;
  • Businesses delivering products via mailing, shipping, or delivery services; and
  • Office space and administrative support related to the above-described businesses.
 
Individuals
Individuals are ordered to stay at home otherwise to conduct certain necessary activities while practicing social distancing. Essential activities mean the following;
  • Attending religious services; and
  • Participating in recreational activities (such as walking, biking, hiking, hunting, running or swimming (consistent with social distancing); and 
  • Taking care of pets; and
  • Caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend 
 
This is a challenging time for businesses in Florida and across the country. Lippes Mathias attorneys and staff are fully operational and working with the same level of communication, security and availability as they would in the office. For our clients, there will be no noticeable difference in access to our attorneys and staff. Given the complex and nuanced changes and questions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain ready, willing, and able to assist.
 
For more information and updates on the developing COVID-19 situation, visit Lippes Mathias’ COVID-19 Resource Center