COVID-19 FAQ

UPDATED 5/19/2020

As of 5/19/2020 Vacation Rentals are permitted in Bay County, Florida subject to rules established by the County and approved by FL Department of Business and Professional Regulations.

As of 5/11/2020 All Beaches in Bay County are open to the public.
Beach Police are monitoring the beach to make sure social distancing is being observed by all those present.  Beach vendors are open and renting beach chairs, jet skis, etc.

What is Emerald Beach Properties Doing to Protect Guests from COVID-19? 
Cleanliness is always a main focus of our Company.  Because of Covid-19, we are re-doubling our efforts to make sure that you remain as safe as possible while on vacation with us.

We follow the CDC’s guidelines for cleaning your vacation rental prior to your arrival.  We disinfect all high touch surfaces with CDC recommended products.  We clean all hard surface floors with steam mops.  We take special care to wipe down everything in bathrooms and kitchens.  All doorknobs, faucets, towel bars, countertops, tables and light switches are disinfected.  Our laundry is sent out to a professional service for high temperature washing.  All soft surfaces are sanitized by fogging with a germicidal agent.

Once our housekeeping staff finishes cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting, our inspectors check everything and finish off with a gremicidal fog treatment just to be sure nothing was missed.  We use Sanix which is a commercial grade germicide, that allows us to do this final sanitization without having to touch anything in the property. We also use ozone generators for additional disinfection when properties are vacant for more than 24 hours or if there are additional concerns that need to be addressed.

Keeping you safe and healthy are very important to us and we appreciate your confidence in us.

What Procedures Do You Recommend for Guests To Stay Safe and Prevent the Spread of COVID-19?
Basically, you’ll be using the same procedures you use at home since your vacation rental is your home away from home.  Staying in a vacation rental is one of the safest ways to have a vacation during the outbreak since you can effectively isolate from other people so easily.

Upon entering your vacation rental from outside, it is best practice to immediately have everyone wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Because of supply chain issues, we are requiring that you bring your own hand sanitizer, soap and cleaning products you will need for your stay.  We recommend that you clean your vacation rental as your would your own home during your stay.  We only provide a starter supply of soap, shampoo, paper towels, dishwasher detergent and toilet paper upon check in.

We recommend that all guests take extra care when using elevators, luggage carts, pool lounges and other common areas within the resorts.  Most resorts have hand sanitizer stations near elevators and in other common areas.  Also, don’t forget to take disinfectant wipes to the pool/beach and other common areas so you can wipe down surfaces that you might come in contact with along the way.  When using the elevators, we recommend wearing masks, wiping down luggage carts and elevator buttons, using hand sanitizer and riding only with members of your party.  It’s better to wait a few minutes for the next car if you are in doubt.

Note that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present or have been present.  COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and/or death.  By using this vacation rental, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

Where can I get the latest COVID-19 information for Florida?
Visit https://floridahealthcovid19.gov for the latest info from the State of Florida.  Governor DeSantis has enacted a recovery plan for the state called “Safe. Smart. Step-by Step” This calls for phased re-opening of Florida’s economy.  As of 5/11/2020, Florida is in “Phase 1” and the plan is to evaluate the data as time goes on and eventually move us to Phase 2 and Phase 3 when it is deemed appropriate.  As of now, vacation rentals are being allowed on a County by County Basis in Florida.  Bay County, where Emerald Beach Properties is located is ALLOWED TO RENT effective May 19, 2020!

Are the restaurants open or offering curbside, pickup or delivery services? 

All restaurants and food establishments are gradually re-opening, per the Florida Governor. As of 5/19/2020 restaurants may seat patrons outdoors and indoors at 50% of normal capacity.  Many local restaurants are offering curbside pickup and delivery services.

Are major attractions open?
Most local activities and attractions, such as fishing charters and water sports rental locations are open.  Please call the attraction directly for additional information.  Check our Happy Stays App for direct contact information for attractions.

What are the restaurants and attractions doing to keep us safe?
All restaurants that are 50% open and/or offering delivery or curbside service are practicing sanitary measures above and beyond standard business practices, to ensure the safety of customers and staff.   Social distancing is being enforced in restaurants.  Bars are not open at this time.

Are the pools at condos open? 
Yes most of the Condos pools are open with social distancing rules in effect.  Also, guests should take responsibility for cleaning common area pool furniture before using it.  Bring disinfectant and paper towels or wipes to take care of this little chore to keep yourself and your family safe.  Remember that social distancing rules are in force at the pools and the beach.

Are there supplies in your grocery stores?
Our local grocery stores are open and restocking as products become available. Select items such as meat, paper goods, hand sanitizer, cleaning products, and some household items may be limited based on current stock levels.  We recommend that you bring items from home that are scarce in your local area at the time of your trip.

Is it safe to ride the elevators in the high-rise condos?
We recommend only riding elevators only with members of your own group.  Take hand sanitizer or wipes with you to use on anything you might touch along the way.

Is it safe to travel to Panama City Beach, Florida? Can I still come to PCB for my vacation?
At this time there are no domestic travel advisories or warnings related to Panama City Beach or Bay County, FL. As the situation is rapidly evolving, it’s important to follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC before making a decision that is right for you and your family.

Is Boating Allowed? 
Yes, boating is permitted, and boat ramps are currently open. However, please note that local law enforcement and the Florida Wildlife Commission will be enforcing social distancing orders including staying 50 feet apart from other vessels.

Are the charter boats/dive boats still operating? 
Charter boats are continuing to operate daily depending on their bookings.  The number of people on board, including crew, must not exceed 10.  Please check directly with the charter or dive operator for more info.

Are the State & County Parks Open?
We recommend visiting www.floridastateparks.org to find out the current status of any State park you wish to visit.  For Bay County Parks please visit www.baycountyfl.gov/289/Parks-Recreation.  For parks in the City of Panama City Beach, visit www.panamacitybeachparksandrecreation.com

Is St Andrews State Park Open?
Yes! The Park is open to the public, including boaters.

Can I fish from the beach? What about the Fishing Piers? 
Fishing from the beach is allowed.  Both Russell-Fields and M.B. Miller Piers are open for fishing under social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions.  The fishing piers in St. Andrew’s State Park are also open for fishing.

I heard there’s a state of emergency. What does that mean?
The State of Florida and Bay County, like most States and Counties in the USA, have declared a state of emergency as a preemptive measure to allow us to more-easily seek additional resources and apply for federal and state aid to address the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Is the destination on any sort of curfew or restrictions?
There are currently no travel advisories or curfews in our area.   Governor DeSantis’ “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step” re-opening plan is in place.  Currently Bay County is in Full Phase 1.

Are there health advisories in place?
The State Surgeon General issued a health advisory for people 65 and older and those with serious “underlying medical conditions” asking them to stay in their homes. The serious conditions include such things as chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, severe obesity and people in cancer treatment.

Per the Governor’s order, all visitors arriving from the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York) and Louisiana, must enter a period of quarantine for 14 days from the time of entry, or for the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter.  Reservations to persons from those areas are required to be at least 14 days long.

Are there any roadway changes I should be aware of? 
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect toll collectors, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) will temporarily not accept cash as a form of payment for tolls including the Mid-Bay Toll Bridge. Tolls will still be required, but they will be collected either via SunPass or toll-by-plate.

What if the Government Shuts Down Vacation Rentals Again?
If there are closures ordered by the Federal Government, the State of Florida or the Local Governments that prohibit vacation rentals due to COVID-19, you will have the choice of rescheduling your stay or receiving a refund of monies paid on the reservation with no cancellation fee.

Can I/Should I Purchase Trip Insurance?
Trip insurance is never required as a pre-requisite to book a vacation rental but, you may wish to consider it if you are concerned that your plans may change.  At the time you book your reservation, you have the opportunity to purchase trip insurance from Rental Guardian through Emerald Beach Properties.  This is offered during checkout for your booking and you will need to pay the trip insurance premium as part of your initial payment if you decide to purchase.  Trip insurance must be purchased within a few days of your booking. If you are booking through a 3rd party site, you can also purchase trip insurance from that company.  Please be sure to read carefully the terms and conditions for all trip insurance you are considering purchasing prior to purchase.

Will there be upcoming flight cancellations coming this summer? What is the latest update coming from the airport?
The airline industry has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. Given how rapidly the situation is evolving we recommend you continue to check directly with the individual carrier.

We’re flying in. Is there a chance I may be stuck there with my family and not able to get home?
Conditions are changing rapidly.  We recommend that you check with your airline before traveling.

We’re coming in from LA, NY, NJ, CT or other known hotspots. How does this impact our visit?
Per the Governor’s order, all visitors arriving from the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York) and Louisiana, must enter a period of quarantine for 14 days from the time of entry, or for the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter.  All rentals to persons from those areas are required to be for 14 days or more to accommodate this rule.