MIAMI – Although there are new mask guidances in place for fully vaccinated people (they no longer have to wear masks in certain settings), vaccinated people living in condominiums are now facing a new predicament — the government says they don’t have to wear masks if they are vaccinated, so, do they have to wear them in their own condo?
That’s the question thousands of South Florida residents and condo associations are currently grappling with since the bombshell announcement was made on Thursday, May 13, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that fully vaccinated Americans can discard masks and the need for social distancing outdoors and in most indoor settings.
According to The Real Deal, “the revised guidance gave commercial landlords hope that life — and rent collection — would soon return to normal. Some of their tenants have been operating at partial capacity for over a year.”
However, despite this new ordinance, most South Florida condominiums are private properties, which gives associations the right to protect its residents and lookout for their well-being, especially as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ extended Florida’s emergency order until June 27.
Although vaccine passports are banned in the Sunshine State, each condominium association has the right to enforce masks or not for the safety of its residents.
The Sun Sentinel interviewed Donna DiMaggio Berger, an attorney who specializes in association law at Becker & Poliakoff in Fort Lauderdale that represents more than 5,000 associations. According to Berger, the answer is, “Yes.”
She told the Sun Sentinel, “Yes. While the governor may have prohibited local governments from imposing COVID safety protocols on the one hand, on the other hand he extended Florida’s state of emergency until June 27,″ she told the outlet. “By doing so, he extended the time frame by which volunteer boards can utilize their statutory emergency powers to safeguard their residents.”
Therefore, in short, the answer to those who have had to awkwardly make eye contact across the elevator at their neighbor not wearing a mask — the answer is yes. Your condominium association can still require residents to wear masks if voted upon for the time being.