Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a statewide executive order Wednesday requiring all citizens in the state to stay at home except for those doing essential business or activities.
The move comes as the state has more than 8,000 cases of COVID-19, according to the Florida Health Department website.
“Even though we know there are a lot of places in Florida that have very low infection rates, it makes sense to make this move now,” DeSantis said in a briefing Wednesday.
The order states that essential services, which includes certain businesses and activities, are allowed to continue and the order does not prohibit individuals from working from home. Insurance is deemed an essential business, according to the federal guidelines the order follows, and insurance agencies and companies may remain open.
Most Florida insurance agencies and agents are already working remotely since state of emergency was declared in March as the COVID-19 began to spread. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who oversees the Florida Department of Financial Services, issued a directive allowing Florida agency customer service representatives who would otherwise be restricted from conducting business outside of a licensed agency to do so given the current circumstances.
“In order to afford flexibility to licensees who are quarantined or whose offices are subject to closure due to the COVID-19, the Department of Financial Services will not enforce provisions of [Florida Statutes] until May 8, 2020, unless this order is extended by subsequent Directive of the Chief Financial Officer,” the order states.
The governor’s stay-at-home order takes effect at midnight on April 3, 2020 and expires on April 30, 2020 unless extended.
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