May 4, 2020 — 9:00 pm
Governor Modifies “Home-or-Work” Order, Rescinds Certain Travel Restrictions and Authorizes Outdoor Dining at Restaurants
Over the past few days, Governor Henry McMaster has rescinded or modified several statewide orders which were implemented in an effort to contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
Provisions related to mandatory isolation/self-quarantine rescinded: On May 1, 2020, Governor McMaster issued Executive Order No. 2020-30. Executive Order No. 2020-30 rescinded an earlier order that required individuals entering the State of South Carolina from an area with substantial community spread of COVID-19 (including the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and the City of New Orleans) to isolate or self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of South Carolina or the duration of the individual’s presence in South Carolina, whichever period was shorter.
Lodging and travel restrictions rescinded: The Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-30 also repealed an earlier order which prohibited individuals, entities, or establishments engaged in the provision of short-term rentals, vacation rentals, or other lodging accommodations or operations in exchange for consideration in the State of South Carolina from making or accepting new reservations or bookings from or for individuals residing in or traveling from any area subject to or identified in a CDC travel advisory or other CDC notice as a location with extensive community transmission of COVID-19. ALL new reservations and check-ins remain prohibited through May 15th pursuant to the town’s Emergency Ordinance No. 2020-01 (see below for more info).
“Home-or-Work” order modified: On May 4th, Governor McMaster issued Executive Order No. 2020-31, which modified the requirements of his previous statewide “Home-or-Work” order. The “Home-or-Work” order limited activities outside the home to only those that were deemed “essential business” or “essential activities.” As a result of Executive Order No. 2020-31, these requirements are now voluntary rather than mandatory. The Governor’s order further states: “I hereby urge any and all residents and visitors of the State of South Carolina to limit social interaction, practice ‘social distancing’ in accordance with CDC guidance, and take every possible precaution to avoid potential exposure to, and to slow the spread of, COVID-19, and further encourage residents and visitors of the State of South Carolina to limit their movements outside of their home, place of residence, or current place of abode… except as specified by this Order, for purposes of engaging in Essential Business, Essential Activities, or Critical Infrastructure Operations…”
Outdoor dining services now allowed. The Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-31 also authorized restaurants to provide outdoor dining services to customers, effective Monday, May 4th. While indoor dining remains prohibited, restaurants may now serve customers by take-out, delivery and drive-through, as well as outdoor dining options. Restaurants that elect to provide outdoor customer dining services should consider and incorporate industry guidelines regarding outdoor seating, such as those prepared and published by the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (SCRLA), in addition to undertaking and implementing all reasonable steps to comply with any applicable sanitation guidelines promulgated by the CDC, SCDHEC, or any other state or federal public health officials
Despite the relaxing of these and other statewide restrictions, residents and property owners should remain vigilant as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise. As of May 4th, there have been more than 6,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the State of South Carolina, and more than 280 deaths. To protect yourself and your family, the town recommends continued adherence to CDC recommendations, including hand hygiene, social distancing, avoiding unnecessary travel, limiting contact with the sick and elderly, and wearing a face covering or mask public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Short-Term Rental Restrictions Remain in Effect until May 15th
The town’s temporary restrictions on short-term rental units remain in effect until May 15th. As a reminder:
- Short-term rental guests are prohibited from “checking-in” or otherwise occupying a short-term rental unit through 11:59 pm on May 15th.
- Owners and managers of all short-term rental units within the town are prohibited from accepting new reservations for stays commencing on or before May 15th.
- Owners, managers and anyone else involved in the advertising of a short-term rental unit within the town are prohibited from advertising the unit’s availability through May 15th.
- Where provided, any online booking calendars for such units (including Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway, etc.) shall indicate that the unit is not available until after May 15th.
The short-term rental restrictions do not apply to rental agreements of more than 28 days, or to members of the property owner’s immediate family, including a parent, sibling, child, spouse, grandparent or grandchild. All rental properties operating within the town are required to have a valid town business license.
The town’s code enforcement officers are actively working to identify, investigate and enforce alleged violations of the town’s ordinances. Violations of a town ordinance can carry fines of up to $500.00 per day (plus state assessments and surcharges). Individuals who are found guilty of violating a town ordinance may also be subject to a suspension or revocation of their business license. To report a possible violation, please call (843) 768-9121 or email email@example.com.
Seabrook Island Town Hall Closed
As a reminder, Town Hall remains closed and members of town staff are working remotely to provide “virtual services” to residents and business owners. For assistance during normal operating hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm), please contact us by phone at (843) 768-9121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The town’s Code Enforcement Officers and Beach Patrol will remain active on the island as long as it is safe for them to do so.
Protect Yourself and Others
To minimize the risk of exposure and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that individuals take the following precautions:
- Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer, avoid of touching your face and mouth, and avoid shaking hands with others.
- Social Distancing: Maintain at least six feet of separation between yourself and others.
- Travel: Avoid unnecessary travel, especially to areas of high concentrations of cases of infection.
- Limit Contact with the Sick and Elderly: Cease visits to nursing homes and other extended-care facilities, except in the case of end-of-life circumstances.
- Wear a Face Covering or Mask: The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings or masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (such as grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
For general questions about COVID-19, please contact the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) Care Line at (855) 472-3432. Staff will be available to answer calls from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm seven days a week.
For the most reliable information about COVID-19, including what to do if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms, residents are strongly encouraged to visit official resources, including the SCDHEC and CDC websites.
Official updates from the Town of Seabrook Island will continue to be posted on the following channels:
- Town WEBSITE: www.townofseabrookisland.org
- Town TWITTER feed: www.twitter.com/seabrookislnd87
- Town FACEBOOK page: www.facebook.com/townofseabrookisland
-Submitted by Joseph M. Cronin, Town Administrator, Town of Seabrook Island