March 29, 2020
This article provides a brief overview of Hillsborough County's Safer-At-Home Order issued on March 27, 2020 in response to the Coronavirus emergency. The entire order may be reviewed here.
The Safer-At-Home Order requires that all residents of Hillsborough County stay at home "as much as possible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week." However, there are many exceptions to this order. Residents are allowed to get necessary food, medicine, and "essentials." Residents are also allowed to recreate outdoors at any time so long as "physical distancing" is observed along with "other recommended sanitary requirements."
In addition to those exceptions, the Safer-At-Home Order states that it does not apply to 42 types of businesses, individuals, and services that are deemed essential. The list includes expected professions such as emergency personnel, law enforcement, and medical professionals. It also includes other businesses that may surprise people including laundromats, firearm and ammunition stores, and attorney's offices. In addition, any business that employs five or fewer persons and does not come in contact with the general public is deemed essential. Restaurants providing delivery or take-out are also deemed essential.
The order provides another major exception. Businesses which are not deemed essential but are able to maintain physical distancing of six feet or more may operate.
The Safer-At-Home Order is an attempt by Hillsborough County officials to strike a balance between limiting the spread of Coronavirus in the county while also limiting the damage done to the Hillsborough County economy.
The Safer-At-Home Order has obvious enforcement problems. How do you determine if an individual qualifies under one of the many exceptions to the rule? The County is counting on voluntary compliance. However, as a last resort, a violation of the order may be prosecuted as a second degree misdemeanor.
The information you obtain on this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.