COVID-19 Travel Updates
As local businesses take precautions related to COVID-19 in America, we are sharing information here to answer common questions being asked by visitors and those considering visiting South Walton. Our visitor center is temporarily closed, but we will continue to answer phone calls to the center.
Walton County Commissioners have temporarily closed all 26 miles of beach in Walton County in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among our visitors and residents. This closure will be enforced by the Walton County Sheriff's Office.
On March 20, Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order mandating restaurants stop serving customers except for take-out and delivery. (Many of South Walton’s restaurants are offering to-go service and delivery service that do not normally).
On March 24, Walton County Commissioners voted to suspend all beach vending permits due to COVID-19, effective immediately. This results in no beach vending being allowed on all beaches in Walton County.
On March 27, Governor Ron DeSantis issued two executive orders (effective 3/27/2020), one of which would suspend vacation rental operations for a period of 14 days. During this time, vacation rentals are prohibited from making new reservations or bookings and shall not accept new guests for check-in.
The other order says that all persons who enter Florida from an area with substantial community spread, to include the State of Louisiana, inclusive of those entering Florida by roadways, to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the state or the duration of the person’s presence in Florida, whichever is shorter.
For the best scientific and medical guidelines, monitor the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov
Currently, the CDC lists the USA is at a “Level 2 Travel Health Notice: Ongoing community transmission.” As such, the “CDC recommends that older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel to most global destinations.”
Additional Official Resources:
- CDC Information https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
- How to stop the spread of germs
- Travel Tips: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html
- Florida Department of Health Florida Department of Health – COVID -19 Webpage
- Walton County Department of Health: http://walton.floridahealth.gov/
- Walton County Emergency Management https://www.co.walton.fl.us/1063/Emergency-Management
Understanding that many families do not fall into the CDC’s warning category and may continue to choose to travel, information regarding measures being taken by accommodations, restaurants and event planners can be found below.
With guest and staff safety in mind, South Walton's accommodations partners have enacted additional cleaning and sanitation measures at their properties as they continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation. Some properties are currently accepting reservations and operating under normal hours while others have made the decision to close their doors in an abundance of caution. If you have specific questions about your rental, please reach out directly to the company you have booked with or are considering booking with. For ongoing updates, CLICK HERE.
Due to the governor's executive order, restaurants are no longer open for dining in, but many of South Walton's restaurants are offering takeout and delivery options. For more information on what options local restaurants are offering, CLICK HERE.
Support South Walton
As our community continues to adapt in the wake of COVID-19, we’ve seen local businesses, residents and visitors who love South Walton step up to help those in need, whether it’s raising money to feed first responders or to help restaurant workers who’ve lost their jobs. CLICK HERE to see how you can help support South Walton.
Based on recommendations from the CDC and the governor, limitations have been placed on large gatherings, leading local businesses and event planners to cancel or postpone upcoming events. For a list of event updates, based on information provided to us, CLICK HERE.