ORLANDO, Fla. - "Full Phase 1" of reopening went into effect on Monday, allowing even more places to reopen and higher capacity limits at establishments that are open.
On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the expansion of Phase 1 during a news conference in Jacksonville. It includes the reopening of gyms, museums and libraries, as well as higher-capacity limits for businesses that were restricted to just 25 percent indoor capacity during the first couple weeks of Phase 1. In addition, theme parks can submit reopening plans to the state, and counties may seek approval to operate vacation rentals.
As of Monday, the full Phase 1 of reopening in Florida includes:
- Restaurants can offer outdoor seating with 6-foot spacing between tables and indoor seating is limited to 50 percent capacity.
- Retail stores can operate at 50 percent of indoor capacity.
- Barber shops and salons with 50 percent of indoor capacity.
- Gyms and fitness centers can operate at 50 percent of capacity.
- Museums and libraries can operate up to 50 percent capacity.
- Theme parks may submit reopening plans to the state.
- Counties may seek approval to operate vacation rentals.
- Elective surgeries may continue.
- No changes to closures for bars, nightclubs and theaters.
- Schools continue distance-learning.
- Visits to senior living facilities are still prohibited.
- Pharmacists in Florida will now be allowed to administer COVID-19 tests.
- Local governments will be allowed to have more restrictive policies than the state.
All 67 counties are now included in Phase 1 and may begin reopening.
Florida can move on to Phase 2 when there is no evidence of a rebound and resurgence of COVID-19 cases, while still maintaining the health benchmarks outlined in the plan. While the governor previously said that he hopes the phases will last weeks, not months, he acknowledges that it will be data-driven and that the next phase will not be entered until it's safe to do so.
A date for Phase 2 of reopening has not yet been set, but when it does happen, several changes will occur, including:
- Bars, pubs and nightclubs that derive more than 50 percent of sales from alcohol should operate at 50 percent of building capacity, with an emphasis on diminished standing room capacity and prioritizing outdoor service. They should keep tables 6 feet apart and restrict groups to 10 or fewer people.
- Restaurants can increase indoor capacity to 75 percent, with appropriate social distancing still in place and tables 6 feet apart. Parties should not exceed 10.
- Retail stores can increase capacity to 75 percent. Signage should continue to promote social distancing and cleaning protocols.
- Gyms and fitness centers can increase capacity to 75 capacity, with social distancing and sanitation protocols still in place.
- Barber shops and salons can increase capacity to 75 percent, with regular cleaning and social distancing in place. Employees and customers are advised to wear masks and other PPE.
- Large venues, like movie theaters, concert halls, auditoriums, bowling alleys, arcades, playhouses and casinos, can reopen at no more than 75 percent capacity, and with strict social distancing protocols. Parties cannot exceed 10.
- Large spectator sporting events should limit venue occupancy to 50 percent and use strict social distancing.
- Theme parks may consider reopening with capacity limits, strict social distancing and proper cleaning measures.
- Public beaches will be fully open.
- State parks will be open during the day, but overnight accommodations will remain closed. Large activities and events are not permitted.
- Individuals can resume non-essential travel.
- All employers should continue to encourage teleworking while plans to implement employees back to work begin. However, all employers are advised to screen employees before they return to work for COVID-19 symptoms. If practical, take the temperature of each employee.
- Vacation rentals can open and operate for in-state reservations only. Those traveling from other states, or internationally, cannot rent rentals.
- Local government meets can resume with no more than 50 people in attendance.
The original "Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan" for Florida's recovery can be found below, including further details on each phase of reopening.
During the reopening of Florida, Gov. DeSantis still advises social distancing measures and continued testing.
Florida has had 45,588 positive coronavirus cases, resulting in 1,972 deaths, according to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health.
If you display coronavirus symptoms, you should contact a local health organization and make them aware of your condition prior to arrival, while also following specific instructions or guidelines they may have. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 and let them know if you have been infected or believe that you may be.
If you are infected, a medical professional or another authority will likely advise that you remain isolated while sick. This includes staying at home and not going into public places or large events.
Please visit the Florida Department of Health's dedicated COVID-19 webpage for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida. For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121. The call center is available 24 hours a day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
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