Pews in church

County Provides Guidelines for Religious Services

Religious Services are considered an essential activity under the statewide Stay at Home Order

Religious Services are considered an essential activity under the statewide Stay at Home Order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday, April 1.

What does that mean?

Religious gatherings in churches, synagogues, and other places of worship are still permitted under the state’s Stay at Home Order without any specific restrictions on social distancing.

When does it take effect?

The Stay at Home order took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, April 3.

Does the rule apply to Hillsborough County?

Yes. While the Governor's order does not place any limitations on the number of people who can attend religious services or mandate social distancing, Hillsborough County and City of Tampa officials have developed the guidelines below. Local religious leaders and members of their congregations should seek alternatives to large in-person gatherings. When this is not possible, those attending religious gatherings should practice safe social distancing.

Guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Houses of worship and religious services are essential to the fabric of every community in Hillsborough County. To promote the safety and well-being of all people, public health experts recommend that all large gatherings, including religious services, be conducted online or through other communication technology whenever possible until the threat of the COVID-19 coronavirus has passed.
  • Those who choose to attend religious services in-person should follow the public health and safety guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. This includes providing at least 6 feet of space between attendees and avoiding gathering in groups larger than 10 people. By remaining at home whenever possible, and following the CDC guidelines, you can help stop the spread of the virus among your congregation, your friends, and your neighbors.
  • Leave your home only when absolutely necessary, limit gatherings to 10 people, and provide 6 feet of space between individuals.

Get Connected. Stay Alert.
For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the region, visit and sign up for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates. For general County information, call (813) 272-5900, the County's main information line.