UPDATED, June 4, 4:30 p.m.: First came hotels reopening. Now, short-term rentals can again operate in Miami-Dade County, effective immediately, and in Broward County.
In Miami-Dade, gyms, fitness studios, and summer camps can also reopen beginning June 8, according to Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
Florida’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation approved Miami-Dade and Broward’s plan to operate vacation rentals in a Covid world. The approvals come days after hotels were allowed to reopen in Miami-Dade. Palm Beach County has not submitted a request to the state, according to a DBPR spokesperson.
Vacation rental operators in Miami-Dade will be required to follow guidelines regarding social distancing and facial coverings, and will have to restrict gatherings to no more than 10 people.
Whenever possible, remote check-in and check-out should be made available. All properties are required to provide local guidelines for guests regarding Covid-19, and homeowners and property managers must add cleaning procedures to their lists of amenities and property descriptions.
Samuel Raccah, CFO of the Red Group, which operates more than 90 apartments in Miami Beach, said the company quickly pivoted when short-term rentals were ordered to stop operations, converting the units to six-month or longer rentals. The units it did not rent out will now be offered as short-term rentals.
Tourism is expected to be largely limited to domestic travel in the months to come, and hotels and short-term rental operators are banking on drive tourism to aid in the industry’s recovery.
“Everyone is very optimistic about July 4,” Raccah said. “We’re seeing a lot of reservations. We just hope that that’s going to mark the beginning of the correction.”
Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami Beach ordered all hotels, motels and short-term rentals to shut down effecdtive March 23, in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. About two weeks ago, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that counties could start applying to allow for the return of vacation rentals.
Some cities in Florida, such as Daytona Beach, have been rebounding more quickly than other markets in the U.S. due to fewer restrictions.
Hotel occupancy in Miami rose to 32.8 percent last week from 29.3 percent the week earlier, marking the first time occupancy pushed above 30 percent since mid-March.
Property managers and operators will now have to follow safety and sanitation guidelines that the CDC recommends for public spaces, businesses, schools, homes and all lodging establishments. Cleaning should be completed prior to check-in and follow American Hotel & Lodging Association standards, and two days are required between stays to ensure such cleaning and disinfecting takes place, according to Miami-Dade County.