Horry County government building

Horry County Council voted to temporarily ban short-term rentals and "amusement type activities" in the county's unincorporated areas due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a press release.

County leaders voted on the ordinance at an emergency meeting this week. No notice of the meeting was provided to members of the public.

The rules for rentals are in effect from 11 a.m. Saturday through April 30.

Accommodations business including hotels, motels, condo hotels, rental properties and campgrounds can't accept any reservations booked for any period during that stretch.

Existing reservations booked for a period starting Friday through April 30 must be rescheduled or canceled.

Visitors currently checked in can stay until the end of their existing reservations, but those reservations can't be extended.

Additionally, units consistently occupied since March 1 are exempt, but occupants there are restricted from allowing visitors.

The rules also don't apply to short-term rentals extended to government, hospital, health agency, law enforcement, military and other "critical personnel" actively responding to the coronavirus pandemic, the ordinance states.

All amusements designed to attract and accommodate visitors are ordered to close, effective Friday.

Those amusements include theaters, mini golf courses, moped and golf cart rental operations, amusement parks and arcades.

A violation could result in a business license being revoked.

Golf courses are allowed to remain open.

The Myrtle Beach International Airport and all other airports managed by the Horry County Department of Airports also continue to be open and operational.

"Horry County Government does not have the authority to make a unilateral decision about the closure of airports. That is under the purview of the Federal Aviation Administration," the release states.

"Airlines can also alter flight schedules. In addition, just like in a hurricane, it is important that the airports remain open for County emergency logistics, including delivery of supplies."

Myrtle Beach City Council voted to enact a similar ordinance on Thursday.

North Myrtle Beach City Council passed an ordinance banning short-term rentals in North Myrtle Beach through April 30, effective Friday at 7 a.m.

Surfside Beach Town Council is set to vote on an ordinance similar to North Myrtle Beach's on Friday.


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