COVID-19 UPDATE

Last Updated: July 24, 2020 - 8:00am CST - updates will be marked in RED

We live in a new world where things change daily.  As a result, it's hard to find predictability when making plans in advance.  With that in mind, we want to be as transparent as possible in what we know, what we don't know, and what our plans are to make sure that your experience with Premium Beach Condos is positive and comforting from start to finish.

Bay County Update:

The Panama City Beach Mayor and City Council approved emergency ordinance 1536-E Thursday, requiring customers and employees in businesses to wear a face mask to stop the spread of COVID-19. The ordinance, which goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, July 27, applies to indoor businesses including retail, restaurants, bars, indoor amusements, hotel/motel public indoor areas, etc.

Customers (and business employees) not wearing masks will be educated, warned and given a mask for a first offense. A second offense for individuals results in a $50 fine and a third and subsequent offense is $100 for individuals. Business employees not wearing a mask can result in the business being fined $250 for a second offense and $500 for third and subsequent offenses, as well as an order to cease operations for 24 hours. Businesses are asked to post signage on their doors notifying customers of the new portion of this mask mandate, and must provide a mask for customers who do not have a mask.

This ordinance keeps in place social distancing requirements, a provision that businesses can operate at 50 percent capacity and customer waiting and checkout procedures put in place by the ordinance adopted by the Council July 15.

NOTE:  This means that at ALL RESORTS, masks are REQUIRED in the public areas and on the elevators.


Governor's Ban on Rentals has been lifted for BAY COUNTY:

Our white sandy BEACHES ARE OPEN with appropriate social distancing.

Short Term Rental Status:
Short Term Rentals in Bay County, Florida are open and are welcoming guest bookings, following the approval of the Bay County safety plan by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations.

PLEASE NOTE: Vacation rental reservations and stays are allowed from all U.S. states with a COVID-19 case rate less than: 500 Active cases/100,000 residents, or 750 Total cases/100,000 residents.

State-wide Closures:
• EFFECTIVE FRIDAY JUNE 26 – Alcohol consumption is suspended at all bars across the state, per Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Governor Ron DeSantis announced The Safe, Smart, Step-By-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery and Phase 2 of reopening. Plan for Florida’s Recovery Phase 2 applies to all counties in Florida except Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. See the full presentation here. To view Safe Smart Step by Step Phase II click here.
Some highlights of Phase 2 that started on Friday, June 5, 2020 include:
• Restaurants can operate 50% capacity inside, bar-top seating with appropriate social distancing, and outdoor seating
• Retail can operate at full capacity with responsible social distancing and sanitation protocols
• Gyms/Fitness Clubs can open operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and frequent sanitation
• Museums and Libraries can operate at 50% capacity
• Sports venues can operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and frequent sanitation
• Hair and nail salons are open, by appointment only
• Most State Parks are open, including St. Andrews and Camp Helen.,
• Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited
• Elective surgeries can resume
• Entertainment businesses, including but not limited to movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades, may operate at 50% capacity with appropriate social distancing and sanitation protocols.
• Pari-mutuel facilities may submit a request to open to the Department of Business and Professional Regulations. The request must include an endorsement from their county mayor or county administrator if there is no mayor.
• Personal services businesses, including but not limited to tattoo parlors, acupuncture establishments, tanning salons and massage establishments may operate while adhering to guidance from the Florida Department of Health.
• Individuals over 65 or with underlying medic­al conditions are strongly encouraged to avoid crowds and take measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
• All individuals that work in long-term care facilities should be tested for COVID-19 ­on a routine basis.­
• All persons in Florida are encouraged to avoid congregating in groups larger than 50 individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home
• Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing
• Face masks are recommended for all of those in face-to-face interactions and where you can’t social distance.
Text FLCOVID19 to 888777 to receive Florida COVID-19 updates.

City of Panama City Beach:
• Sandy beaches are open all day
• City recreational sports fields are open
• The Community Center at Lyndell Center is open with restrictions

• Effective 7/10/2020, the one mile stretch of beach located between Ocean Ritz Resort and Boardwalk Resort will be closed from 10pm to 5am, until August 13, 2020.  This includes beaches for Ocean Ritz, Long Beach, Shores of Panama, Sunbird, and Boardwalk Resorts. The closure was mandated due to large groups of teenagers that were congregating in that area at night and not practicing social distancing.  Penalties include tickets as high as $500 as well as arrest.

Disease prevention:
• If you are 65 or older or have underlying health conditions please stay home.
Effective Monday, July 27, 2020, masks are REQUIRED for all guests and employees in any public establishment, including resorts and their indoor common areas.  Masks are required in elevators and any area where social distancing is not possible.
• Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• If you cough or sneeze, do it into your sleeve or use a tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately into a closed rubbish bin, and then clean your hands.
• Clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant. For example: Always clean kitchen benches and work desks.

If you feel unwell:
• Avoid traveling if you have a fever and/or cough.
• Once you get home, make contact with a health professional and tell them about where you have been.
• If you feel unwell, stay at home and call your healthcare provider.

Managing rising anxiety or stigma:
We know that your communities may be feeling anxious, stressed or frightened. Here are some important things to take into account and share:
• It’s normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis. Talking to people you trust can help, like friends, family or your fellow community members.

• If you must stay at home, maintain a healthy lifestyle, including proper diet, sleep, exercise. Keep up with loved ones at home by email and phone and connect with your larger Facebook community for support.
• Don’t use smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with your emotions.
• If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a health worker or counselor. Have a plan on where to go to and how to seek help for physical and mental health needs if required.
• Get the facts. Gather information that will help you accurately determine your risk so that you can take reasonable precautions. Find a credible source you can trust such as the WHO website or a local or state public health agency.
• When posting in your communities, be sure to share the latest facts from credible sources, avoid hyperbole and show solidarity with affected people by opening your community up to the stories of people who have been affected by the virus. Of course, keep in mind to not share information about someone else’s health concerns (such as someone affected by COVID-19 without their permission).


Cancellation Policy:

Many guests are asking about our "COVID-19" cancellation and refund policy. In an effort to be as fair and consistent as possible (in this ever-changing dynamic environment) with everyone's personal and financial health and safety in mind, we are clarifying our intent with the best interest of ALL parties, our guests, owners and our company, in mind.

Sadly, We Don't Have A Crystal Ball

Because we're unable to predict these things , we HIGHLY recommend purchasing a third party trip insurance policy with the Cancelling For Any Reason (CFAR) option. At the moment, our Travel Guard provider no longer offers this option, but even the traditional trip insurance policies will cover most unexpected events that are NOT related to the pandemic and that is helpful! Beaches may be closed today, may be open tomorrow and may be closed again the next day. Your area's shelter in place orders may be in place today, but you still choose to travel; or they may be lifted but you or someone in your group isn't feeling well, so you choose not to travel. The FL governor may ban vacation rentals, lift the ban, and then ban them again. These events cannot be controlled by any of us. If you are unwilling to have any risk, then please wait to book until you are sure you are ready to stay with us.

Can you commit to a 30 day cancellation window?
If so, then we are very excited to host you and you can possibly take advantage of some greatly discounted rates as our rates are changing as the situation unfolds. During this 2020 pandemic, we are modifying our traditional no-refund policy . To clarify, our 30 day cancellation window means you get a full refund** if you cancel 30 days in advance of your arrival date. Once inside of the 30 days, if you cancel, as a courtesy, we will do our best to re-book the property. If we are successful, we are happy to refund** to you the "re-booked" value but there is no guarantee it will re-book for the same number of nights or at the same rate. This modified cancelation policy applied only to 2020 reservations.

** Refunds for reservations made with credit or debit card will be subject to a non-refundable credit card transaction fee of 5%. Fees will be waived for payments made by eCheck or credits given for future stays.


CLEANING PRACTICES

We've updated our Cleaning Policies
In February, 2020, we hired a new cleaning company with extensive sanitation steps to ensure that our condos meet high standards for cleaning and disinfecting.  Not only are we cleaning the linens and hard surfaces, but we disinfecting drapes, furniture cushions, etc. to ensure you feel safe staying with us.  Our recent BLOG POST discusses our cleaning. Subscribing to this BLOG is also a great way to stay in touch with us about future updates.


OUR COMMUNITY

Here is an update to what you will see throughout our community:

  • All Beaches are open, with the exception noted above, but social distancing is required, and there is a limit of 50 people gathered together for any event.
  • Schools remain distance learning.
  • Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited.
  • Elective surgeries can resume.
  • Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with six foot space between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity.
  • Retail can operate at 25% of indoor capacity.
  • Gyms are re-opening with restrictions
  • Salons are re-opening with restrictions
  • Bars that have more than 50% income from alcohol sales are closed or have restricted services.
  • Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home.
  • All individuals, when in public, should maximize physical distance from others.
  • Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing.
  • Face masks are recommended for all those in face-to-face interactions and where you can’t social distance.

We are real people/humans here
At Premium Beach Condos, and we care deeply about ALL parties involved and are not a big faceless corporation. We will communicate with you quickly regardless of the situation and will do our best to make it right but please realize our owners and our staff are committed to fulfilling EVERY reservation, and cancellations and the necessary efforts to re-book them are painful, a lot of work and block the calendar from other potential guests booking the property.

Lastly, just want to be very transparent: We are truly passionate about hosting our guests and providing you a clean, safe and beautiful setting to enjoy our amazing weather and the ocean breezes that can NOT be restricted! We appreciate your understanding and look forward to making it work!