Hillsborough County Safer-At-Home Order

Date   Mar 27, 2020

On March 26, 2020, Hillsborough County issued an order directing citizens to stay at home as much as possible during the continued COVID-19 crisis. The Safer-At-Home Order will go into effect at 10:00 p.m. on March 27, 2020, and will continue on a daily basis until it expires or is rescinded. Currently, the Order does not state when it expires.

Under the order, Hillsborough County residents are encouraged to stay at home, but may travel outside the home to engage in essential activities. Non-essential activities are also allowed as long as social distancing and other CDC requirements are followed. Businesses providing essential services, as well as other businesses that are able to maintain the physical distancing requirement of six feet, may remain open. Businesses allowed to remain open must ensure employees adhere to social distancing and other health care guidelines, as established by the Florida Department of Health.

What activities are allowed?

Pursuant to the Order, individuals are permitted to leave their homes to perform the following activities:

  • Obtain food, medicine, pet care or supplies, and other essentials.
  • Recreate and enjoy the outdoors as long as physical distancing and other recommended sanitary requirements are observed.
  • Walk their pets in the vicinity of their residence as long as social distancing guidelines are observed.
  • Commute directly to and from places of employment.
  • Seek medical treatment, transport people seeking medical treatment, or assist another person with medical or caregiving needs.
  • Transport a child or children pursuant to a custody sharing agreement or order.
  • Travel to stay at a safe alternative location if their residences are unsafe or become unsafe for reasons such as domestic violence.

What are Essential Services?

Below is a list of the types of individuals and businesses that provide essential services:

  • Essential federal employees and military personnel who are already governed by directives of their respective federal agencies.
  • State and local government employees providing services to carry on government functions during this state of emergency, and persons attending government meetings.
  • School district employees providing services to carry on school district functions during this state of emergency.
  • Private colleges, trade schools, and technical colleges, but only as needed to facilitate online or distance learning, perform critical research, or perform essential functions; and university, college, or technical college residence halls, but only to the extent needed to accommodate students who cannot return to their homes.
  • Medical and health-related personnel, while actively pursuing medical or health-related activities, including personnel employed in the production of medical or health-related products.
  • Healthcare providers and public health operations (except to the extent precluded by the Governor's Executive Order 20-72 or any subsequent Executive Order), including but not limited to: hospitals; doctors' and dentists' offices; urgent care centers, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities; physical therapists; mental health professionals; psychiatrists; therapists; research and laboratory services; blood banks; medical cannabis facilities; healthcare manufacturers and suppliers; reproductive health care providers; eye care centers; home healthcare services providers; substance abuse providers; medical transport services; and pharmacies.
  • Mass transit personnel.
  • Fire/rescue, law enforcement, and other first responder personnel.
  • Individuals preparing or delivering food and drink items pursuant to County Administrator Order 20-05.
  • Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of food, baby products, pet supply, liquor, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products).
  • Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services.
  • Gas stations.
  • Auto supply and repair facilities, vehicle sales facilities, and other related facilities.
  • Businesses engaged in food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing.
  • Businesses that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals.
  • Hardware, gardening, and building material stores.
  • Contractors, utility workers, and other tradesmen; building management and maintenance (including janitorial companies serving commercial businesses); home security firms; fire and water damage restoration personnel; public adjusters; appliance repair personnel; exterminators; pool, lawn care, and golf course maintenance; and other service providers who provide services that are necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other structures.
  • Businesses primarily providing mailing, logistics, pick-up, and shipping services, including post office boxes and logistic providers (such as warehouses, trucking, consolidators, fumigators, and handlers).
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers.
  • Businesses engaged in providing home-based care for seniors, adults, or children; assisted living facilities; nursing homes; adult day care centers; and home-based and residential settings for adults, seniors, children, and people with disabilities or mental illness.
  • Businesses engaged in the provision of office space and administrative support necessary to perform any essential services and activities.
  • Businesses that primarily supply office products needed for people to work from home, but not including businesses that primarily sell or lease furniture.
  • Hotels, motels, and other commercial lodging establishments, as well as temporary vacation rentals.
  • Veterinarians and pet boarding facilities.
  • Mortuaries, funeral homes, and cemeteries, including funeral and cremation services.
  • Firearm and ammunition supply stores.
  • Moving, storage, and relocation services.
  • Private and municipal marinas and boat launches, as well as marina services such as docking, fueling, and marine supply.
  • Janitorial personnel.
  • Personnel supporting educational needs.
  • Religious personnel.
  • Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers.
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in the Order to work as permitted.
  • Animal care staff (including volunteers) who own, operate, or work in the capacity of providing continued care of animals at rescue organizations, boarding facilities, veterinarians, and similar businesses.
  • Attorneys and all personnel associated with supporting essential court proceedings, including all federal, state, and county personnel.
  • Personnel employed by an entity that is a part of one of the sixteen critical infrastructure sectors identified by the Cyber-Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The CISA list is attached to the county order.
  • Hotels, motels, other commercial lodging establishments, and temporary vacation rentals.
  • Individuals who provide any services or perform any work necessary to offer, operate, maintain, and repair “essential infrastructures,” which include, but are not limited to, food production, distribution, and sale; construction; building management and maintenance; airport operations; operation and maintenance of utilities, including water, sewer, and gas; electrical (including power generation, distribution, and production of raw materials); distribution centers; roads, highways, railroads, and public transportation; cybersecurity operations; flood control; solid waste and recycling collection and removal; and internet, video, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).
  • Any business that employs five or fewer persons, including management/ownership, where the employees do not come in regular contact with the general public in the regular course of business.

What Businesses Must Close?

Businesses which are not described above, and which by the nature of their business are unable to maintain the required physical distancing of six feet, must close.

If you have any questions regarding this Alert, please feel free to contact the author, Natasha Khoyi,, who is an attorney in our Tampa office, or the FordHarrison attorney with whom you usually work. Please click here for links to other mandates issued by states and major municipalities.

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