MANY, La. – There’s some good news ahead for the owners of rental facilities in Sabine Parish.
Sabine Parish Police Jury President Mike McCormick has said he intends to end the ban on short-term rentals on April 30, District Attorney Don Burkett announced Monday on Facebook.
“I concur with this decision,” Burkett said.
That means those business owners can begin taking reservations for the month of May and beyond.
McCormick issued a parishwide order on March 30 ending all vacation rentals and telling those who were staying in the parish temporarily to leave by April 2. The order does not apply to people who own camps and homes or to those who have a long-term rental agreement of more than 30 days.
The unusual step was done to lessen the number of visitors in the parish. Hundreds – if not more – had descended on Toledo Bend Reservoir and its accommodations as an alternate to the governor’s stay-at-home order.
Parish officials feared the influx of people could contribute to the spread of COVID-19 and potentially overwhelm the parish’s limited health care capacity.
As of Monday, Sabine Parish had no new COVID-19 cases, staying at nine. The parish is among the few statewide with no reported deaths.
The parish's directive is aimed at keeping those numbers low by cutting out vacation rentals such as hotels, motels, cabins and cottages, bed and breakfast establishments, recreational vehicle and trailer parks, condos and other transient public lodging.
The order does not include long-term rentals of 30 days or longer, rental stays where guests checked in no later than March 16 and rentals to military, emergency, government, health or infrastructure response, travelers engaged in non-vacation commercial activities and those involved in essential jobs.
Violators face revocation of their rental licenses, fines of $500 or six months in jail.
Other aspects of the parish order involving social distancing in stores, store occupancy limits and mandatory isolation for those testing positive for COVID-19 remain in place until further notice.