JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After an executive order signed by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, hotels can no longer accept reservations for any non-essential lodgers.
For a full list of people who are deemed essential lodgers, check the end of this article.
Curry’s executive order went into effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday. That evening, News4Jax spoke with several people staying at Jacksonville Extended Stay hotels. Because those hotels are considered transitional housing, people there will be able to stay.
The executive order also permits lodgers who depend on hotel housing to stay put.
Curry said it’s important to make sure lodging is available for those who are on the frontline and others who are in need.
Megan McNeill is staying at at an Extended Stay with her husband and three children. They began staying there three weeks ago because they are waiting to move into their new home.
“I was afraid that maybe if these shut down down maybe it wouldn’t have any place to go but I’m feeling a lot better. I feel like we have stable housing here,” McNeill said.
Another woman said she’s been living at the Extended Stay since January. She said it she wasn’t able to stay there, she would have nowhere to go.
Curry said he was not going to let hotels to fill up with people who may be bringing the coronavirus from other locations.
“Unfortunately, some cities have not been as proactive or as vigilant in enforcing the CDC’s guidance on proper social distancing and nonessential travel as Duval County has. Numerous people have congregated in the state for spring break, cruises and other personal travel," Curry said. "This measure is necessary to protect the residents of our city, and ensure lodging is available for people on the frontline and those who are in need.”
During a news conference Monday afternoon, Curry said those deemed essential are health care professionals, first responders, National Guard members, law enforcement, state or federal government employees, airline crew members, patients, patients’ families, journalists, others responding to COVID-19, displaced residents or visitors, persons unable to return to their home due to COVID-19′s impact on travel, persons who must vacate their home due to exigent circumstances, persons utilizing hotels as transitional living arrangements, persons sheltering hotels due to domestic violence, hotel employees, service providers, contractors and individuals who for any reason are temporarily unable to reside in their home.