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'Safer at Home' order: What's considered essential, non-essential?

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Gov. DeSantis' Safer at Home order goes into effect Friday.{ }

After mounting pressure, Gov. Ron DeSantis has finally enacted a version of the stay-at-home order, called "Safer at Home."

Most South Florida counties have already been following those guidelines for days, but this now applies to the entire state.

Non-essential businesses have to close up shop.

“It’s something that has been on my mind the last couple of weeks,” said Nick Stump, owner of Fleet Feet Delray Beach.

The Safer at Home order to help curb the spread of coronavirus means only essential businesses can remain open.

“Retail outlets, clothing stores, hair salons, tanning salons, gyms, particularly gyms, are deemed non-essential businesses,” said Mike Pike, a business litigation attorney.

He breaks down what businesses are considered essential.

“Delivery services and food are essential and critical," Pike said. "Grocery stores and gas stations, energy companies and of course pharmacies, these are the types of businesses are considered essential."

The governor’s Safer at Home order has two major key elements: seniors and people with medical conditions need to stay home to limit exposure. Everyone else must limit personal interactions outside their home and can only go out if it’s absolutely necessary.

DeSantis’ order follows guidelines from the United States Department of Homeland Security, which enforces things people follow now, like social gatherings of no more than 10 people, and participation in recreational activities like walking or running.

The order goes into effect Thursday at midnight and expires at the end of the month.

Stump believes he will be able to weather the storm.

“I’ve kind of gotten used to it over the years in regards to hurricane season. This is just that expanded,” he said.

His store is available for online purchases only.

Here is a full list of which business qualifies as ‘essential’ and can operate in South Florida:

  • Health care professionals
  • Law enforcement and first responders
  • Supermarkets, food banks and convenience stores
  • Farming, livestock, fishing and other food cultivation
  • Businesses that provide food, shelter and services to the homeless
  • Newspaper, television, radio and other media
  • Gas stations, auto-supply and auto-repair shops
  • New and used automobile dealerships
  • Banks and related financial institutions
  • Hardware stores
  • Contractors and other tradesmen, appliance repair personnel, home security firms, fire and water damage restoration, public adjusters, exterminators, and others who maintain the safety and sanitation of homes and other buildings.
  • Mailing and shipping services
  • Private colleges, technical schools and trade schools, but only as needed for online or social distancing
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners
  • Restaurants, for takeout and delivery only, including schools that provide free meals to students
  • Office-supply stores that sell goods people need to work from home
  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses and do not involve interaction with the public
  • Businesses that deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences
  • Airlines, taxis and other private transportation providers
  • Home-based care for seniors, adults or children
  • Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, senior living centers and adult day care centers
  • Professional services such as legal or accounting, when needed to comply with legal requirements
  • Landscaping and pool care businesses
  • Child care facilities, subject to restrictions on the number of children and how they are grouped together
  • Businesses operating airports, seaports and other government facilities
  • Pet supply stores
  • Logistics providers, including warehouses, trucking, consolidators, fumigators and handlers
  • Telecommunications providers, including sales of computer or telecommunications devices
  • Provision of propane or natural gas
  • Office space or administrative support for any other essential business
  • Open construction sites
  • Architectural, engineering or land surveying services
  • Factories, bottling plants or other industrial facilities
  • Waste management services
  • Any business that interacts with customers solely through electronics or telephones and delivering products through shipping, mailing or delivery.
  • Marinas and boat launches, docking, fueling and marine supply, with some exceptions on municipal boat launches.
  • Veterinarians and pet-boarding facilities
  • Hotels, motels and other commercial lodging, subject to restrictions on restaurants and gyms and only for “essential lodgers,” meaning health care professionals, first responders, National Guard members, law enforcement, state or federal government employees, airline crew, patients and their families, journalists, displaced residents or visitors, persons sheltering due to domestic violence, hotel employees or contractors, people who are unable to stay in their homes due to exigent circumstances, and anyone providing direct services in response to COVID-19.
  • Mortuaries, funeral homes and cemeteries
  • Alcoholic beverage sales
  • Firearm and ammunition supply
  • Businesses providing services to local, state or federal government




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