Garrett Rescinds Ban on Vacation Home Rentals

Garrett County will move forward with Stage One of Maryland’s coronavirus recovery plan, which includes lifting the ban on transient vacation rentals.

Garrett County SealGarrett County yesterday announced that it will move forward with Stage One of the “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,” which includes rescinding the stay-at-home order and the gradual reopening of retail, manufacturing, houses of worship, and some personal services with limitations. The decision follows Governor Larry Hogan’s announcement that some parts of the state could move into the first stage of recovery.

As part of State One, The County’s health officer rescinded the March 2020 order prohibiting the rental of transient vacation rentals. Revenue from Deep Creek Lake accounts for 45% of Garrett’s operating budget, according to the County.

“We are in unprecedented times but have done our homework in consulting with the public health experts. Now, we each have a personal responsibility to ensure a safe and prudent way forward,” said Board of Garrett County Commissioners Chairman Paul Edwards.

According to a press release:

Like other small businesses that are able to reopen, the rentals must follow strict cleanliness processes and implement as many “no-touch” processes as possible.

Specifically, the reopening of vacation rental units outlines the following:

Cleanliness:
Each unit must be cleaned with approved disinfecting cleaners. Special attention must be paid to the high touch and high traffic areas. Also, each unit must be cleaned to the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) housekeeping standards and protocol. Owners must allow increased time between check out and the next guest’s arrival for the cleaning practices.

Employee Practices:
Employees must be sufficiently trained on the enhanced cleaning protocol and use personal protective equipment.

Guest Practices:
Guests are asked to bring groceries, paper products, and cleaning supplies with them for the duration of their stay. Also, guests must practice social distancing, use face coverings when in public, and regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not available. Guests are also advised to stay home if not feeling well. If symptoms present when staying at a vacation rental, please self-isolate and make the Garrett County Health Department aware of the situation.

Occupancy:
Groups are limited to no more than 10 and must utilize a remote check-in process.
Note that factors such as a sustained increase in hospital intensive care utilization and/or a community outbreak will determine if the reopening will be continued.

“We are moving from what I would call government-imposed restriction to personal responsibility,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “It is all of our responsibility now to protect our neighbors, our family, and our friends through things like social distancing, washing our hands, wearing face masks, and limiting our travel within the community.”

Other low-risk activities that can reopen under the Governor’s new Order include:
Animal adoption shelters
Art galleries
Bookstores
Car washes
Churches
Clothing and shoe stores
Florists
Furniture stores
Jewelers
Lawn and garden stores
Pawnshops

Please remember all other restrictions imposed by the Governor’s Executive Orders also remain in place:
Restaurants are carry-out or delivery only and bars remain closed
Face coverings are required to be worn in all retail or service businesses
Social distancing is required; keep 6 feet between people
Large gatherings are prohibited; no groups larger than 10

“We are in unprecedented times but have done our homework in consulting with the public health experts. Now, we each have a personal responsibility to ensure a safe and prudent way forward,” said Board of Garrett County Commissioners Chairman Paul Edwards.

Garrett County Government buildings and facilities will remain closed to the public but county services are available via phone and email. If an in-person meeting is necessary, an appointment can be scheduled.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Useful Links

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Garrett Formulating Plan to Reopen Vacation Home Rentals

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Hogan Lifts Stay-At-Home Order, Emphasizes Local Flexibility

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Anne Arundel Announces Modified Phase One Reopening Plan

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Prince George’s Extends Stay-At-Home Order Through June 1

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Montgomery to Remain Under Stay-At-Home Order

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: County Exec Olszewski, Mayor Young Issue Joint Statement on COVID-19 Recovery Plan

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Carroll to Move Forward With Stage One of COVID-19 Recovery Plan

 

 

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