TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County residents will officially be under a safer-at-home executive order at 10 p.m. Friday to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

A safer at home order restricts groups and travel except for when doing certain activities deemed “essential.”

People will still be allowed to go to places like the grocery store and the gas station or to the hospital.

People who run essential businesses are being asked to comply with the CDC’s social distancing guidelines. Businesses that don’t adhere to those rules could be shut down.

According to Hillsborough County officials the order allows:

  • Allowing residents the ability to obtain necessary food, medicine, and essentials, as well as being outdoors and enjoying recreation. 
  • Requiring essential businesses to have employees telecommute if possible. 
  • Allowing businesses whose employees cannot telecommute to stay open if employees can maintain a 6-foot distance from customers and fellow employees. Workers who could not maintain 6-foot physical distance from customers could not work; those businesses that cannot by definition maintain the necessary physical distancing from customers would be required to close until further notice. 
  • Requiring essential businesses to provide employment opportunities to those who lose jobs because of this emergency by working directly with CareerSource and other designated employment and job agencies. 
  • The “Safer-at-Home” order will exempt persons who are doing essential work that cannot be performed at home, such as health care professionals, public safety employees, first responders, and food preparation and delivery.

County officials have not said how long the order will be in place, but said until the virus stops spreading in the county.

Violators could receive a warning or be fined.