Skip to main content

Special Alert Message

Information and resources about COVID-19 and travel... more

COVID-19 Tourism and Small Business Resources

Below are links to information and resources about COVID-19, a link to our local survey for Charlotte County businesses in the hospitality sector, and information about Florida's--and Charlotte County's--Recovery process.

Click Here for Vacation Rentals Re-Opening Info


Quick Links: Breaking News ~  Charlotte County Recovery Process  ~  Assistance and Resources  ~  Assessment Information  ~  Archive of Previous Updates


State of Florida Recovery Process

Breaking News:

Sept. 25, 2020: Florida Enters Phase 3 of Reopening

During a press conference today in St. Petersburg, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state will move to Phase 3 of his “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan” for Re-Opening Florida, including allowing restaurants to operate at full capacity, effective immediately.

There will no longer be operational limitations enforced by the State of Florida. His Executive Order will prohibit local municipalities from restricting the re-opening of businesses. They must be allowed to operate at least at 50% capacity, regardless of local rule.

Phase 3 is outlined in Executive Order 2020-244.


July 28, 2020: Charlotte County Commission adopted a face covering resolution.

Resolution 2020-100 states, “every person living, working, visiting or doing business in unincorporated Charlotte County, including government buildings, shall, in the absence of social distancing, wear a face covering in any indoor location, other than a home or residence.”

The resolution includes exceptions stated in the Florida Surgeon General's Public Health Advisory of June 20, 2020. The advisory is available on the county website. 

Signs will be posted at county facilities and distributed to businesses via the Charlotte County, Englewood and Punta Gorda chambers of commerce. 

Visit for additional COVID-19 information.


Sept. 23, 2020: The City of Punta Gorda extended the face covering mandate, set to expire Oct. 6, through Nov. 6. 

July 8, 2020: The City of Punta Gorda passed a face covering emergency ordinance.

Face coverings are required indoors in all public buildings and businesses in the City of Punta Gorda for all people over the age of two. Exceptions are made in the ordinance and include for persons continuously observing social distancing, persons communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired who needs to see the mouth of the person speaking to facilitate communications, for persons for whom a face covering causes impairment due to an existing health condition, and persons exercising while maintaining social distancing. The ordinance Ord 1944-2020, including a complete list of exemptions is available here.


Emergency Order 2020-10 on Sept. 10, 2020 - Regarding Bars

EO 2020-10 permits:

Bars to re-open on Monday, September 14, at 50% indoor capacity, allow bar service to seated patrons, and permit outdoor seating and service with the appropriate social distancing..

Under the Order, bars and other alcoholic beverage vendors may resume sales of alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises beginning Monday, provided that their operations comply with the parameters of Phase 2 of Governor DeSantis' "Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step." plan for Florida's Recovery as established in Executive Order 20-139.

For additional information, or to report violators of Emergency Order 2020-10, please contact the DBPR Customer Service Hotline at 850-487-1395.


Phase 3: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida's Recovery Goes into Effect Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

On Sept. 25, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-244 announcing Phase 3 of Florida’s reopening plan following COVID-19.

The plan allows for further reopening of the state beginning Friday, Sept. 25

Of interest in Phase 3: 

EO 20-244 supersedes and eliminates any and all restrictions in Executive Orders 20-112, 20-123 and 20-139, 20-192, 20-214 and 20-223, except: 

  • Right to Work and Operate a Business, no COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or from operating a business. This preemption is consistent with Executive Order 20-92

Restaurants, including any establishment with a food service license, may not be limited by a COVID-19 emergency order by any local government to less than fifty percent (50%) of their indoor capacity. If a restaurant is limited to less than one hundred percent (100%) of its indoor capacity, such COVID-19 emergency order must on its face satisfy the following:

  1. quantify the economic impact of each limitation or requirement on those restaurants; and
  2. explain why each limitation or requirement is necessary for public health.


The State of Florida's Official Business Information Portal: Official State of Florida COVID-19 Information, includes:

The Re-Open Florida Task Force Comment Submission Portal: All interested Floridians are encouraged to submit their ideas and feedback on any topic related to the re-opening of Florida's economy. Task Force to Re-Open Florida Public Comment Submission Form

Find previous Task Force meeting agendas and presentations online:

Audio recordings for all previous Task Force meetings:

Back to Top


Charlotte County Recovery Process

Vacation Rentals

Beginning Monday, May 18, under Executive Order 20-123, Section 4: Vacation Rentals, Florida counties were allowed to seek approval to operate vacation rentals with a written request from the County Administrator and the county’s safety plan for vacation rental operations submitted to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation Secretary.

Charlotte County and the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau understood the urgency in reopening our vacation rentals especially with the Memorial Day weekend approaching. Our Tourism Director worked with County Administration all weekend on a plan that was submitted to the FDBPR the morning of May 18. That plan was discussed and supported by the Commissioners. 

At approximately 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, we were notified by FDBPR that the plan had been approved. The plan was updated and FDBPR approved the revised plan on June 14, 2020. 

Expanding Outdoor Dining

Indoor dining is allowed, at 50% capacity, and on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners of Charlotte County, Florida passed Resolution CM EO 2020-11 City Fee Waiver and Deferral - Outdoor Seating, to provide for temporary outdoor dining in parking lots and adjacent or communal property in response to COVID-19. The order takes effect immediately and expires June 4, 2020, unless extended. 

Information from the City of Punta Gorda regarding Outdoor Dining and Doggie Dining permits for Punta Gorda restaurant Partners:

  • Click here to find the Punta Gorda outdoor dining permit application. The City is asking you please complete and submit with a dimensioned site plan showing the location of the tables and clear 42” pedestrian path. If Doggie Dining is proposed, a separate application is required: Application here.
  • In addition, if alcohol is sold/served outside the original permit, an extension of the premise license will be required to be submitted for zoning signature and forwarded to ABT for issuance.
  • If the outdoor dining is temporary, the application fee is being waved. If the outdoor dining is to remain permanent, the application fee will be due by July 1, 2020.

Restaurants must comply with all social distancing, party size, and occupancy requirements under Gov. Ron DeSantis' Executive Order 20-123. Restaurants must comply with relevant Department of Health and county fire regulations and the Florida Building Code. Outdoor dining areas in parking lots must be separated by physical barriers and kept clear of litter. Restaurants must register with the Charlotte County Community Development Department before beginning operations permitted under the ordinance by emailing the restaurant name, location, contact information and a description of the outdoor seating arrangements to

For information, call 941-743-1964. For media inquiries, call 941-743-1462.

Additional Resources for Restaurants:

Please follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines for social distancing and practice proper hygiene.

Visit frequently for updates regarding the ongoing recovery of Charlotte County.

Back to Top


Assistance and Resources

Back to Top



Back to Top



Back to Top