Connect with us


Many Pinellas businesses can re-open Monday with limits. Here are the ones that cannot

Margie Manning



Mobile dog groomers in Pinellas County will be permitted to reopen for business effective Monday, said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners has voted to rescind the county’s Safer at Home order effective Monday, paving the way for many businesses that have been closed for more than a month to reopen in a limited capacity.

Still, more than a dozen types of businesses will remain closed, under guidance from top county officials.

The Pinellas County Safer at Home Order has been in effect since March 26, and was intended to control the spread of Covid-19.

Commissioners voted to rescind it effective Monday, May 4, and instead support enforcement of the provisions in a statewide order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ earlier this week. In the governor’s order, restaurants will be able to offer limited on-site dining and retail storefronts will be permitted to allow some foot traffic in their stores, effective Monday, May 4. Indoor dining can’t exceed 25 percent of seating capacity and retail stores have to adhere to a maximum of 25 percent of building capacity.

The state order requires bars, pubs and nightclubs to remain closed, and vacation rentals are still prohibited. Additionally, County Administrator Barry Burton and Sheriff Bob Gualtieri issued guidelines that require more than a dozen other types of businesses to remain closed in Pinellas County. Here’s the county’s “no” list, as presented to commissioners Friday morning.

o Arcade and video/game rooms
o Day/beauty spa services
o Hair salon services (including braiding, hair cutting and styling)
o Nail salon services
o Barber shop services
o Fitness, dance, Pilates, and yoga studios and gyms
o Massage (unless directed by a medical provider)
o Painting, craft, or art studios
o Tattoo and piercing services
o Bowling
o Zoos
o Pool halls
o Concert and music halls
o Locations with amusement rides and/or water parks
o Movie and other theaters (including adult entertainment theaters)

Commissioner Kathleen Peters asked that some of the businesses on the list, such as yoga and dance studios and massage businesses, be allowed to reopen, because they were not specifically named in the governor’s order as businesses that must remain closed.

Burton and Gualtieri said the governor’s order was difficult to interpret. They said they spent more than five hours reviewing the order to understand how to apply it in Pinellas County.

“You can’t be clear with mud and that’s what they gave us, a bucket of mud,” Gualtieri said. He said Pinellas County asked for additional guidance and was told there would be none.

Any business not on the Pinellas County “no” list is good to go, Gualtieri said.

“The order says in-store retail establishments may open storefronts. Guess what that’s not? That isn’t mobile dog-grooming. But you know what? Mobile dog groomers, go for it. People need to get their dogs clean,” Gualtieri said. “The same thing with car washes. In-store retail sales isn’t car washes, but please everybody get in line and get your cars washed. We were trying to make all of this happen the best we can with this bucket of mud they gave us.”

The county resolution clarifying local restrictions calls for businesses to continue to follow social distancing policies, including no groups larger than 10 percent and six feet of distance between groups. Commissioners also agreed to strongly encourage, but not require, people to wear face masks in public indoor spaces.

In a separate vote, Pinellas commissioners extended the county state of emergency through Friday, May 8.

The votes came with a cautionary note from Commissioner Karen Seel.

“I want to note that some of the states where they have opened up and allowed people to get back to the new normal, they are seeing more cases of Covid. I just want everyone to please be conscious and kind and respectful and try to make sure you are being neighborly. Let’s try to relax and loosen up, but keep Covid under control,” Seel said.

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Laura Collins

    May 1, 2020at5:34 pm

    Are dog groomer shops open? That can be controlled if one person at a time brings there dog and sanitizers after each one I think it would be ok.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By posting a comment, I have read, understand and agree to the Posting Guidelines.

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

Email us:

Subscribe for Free

Share with friend

Enter the details of the person you want to share this article with.