ORLANDO, Fla. - As some attractions make plans to reopen, businesses in Orlando's tourist district hope more customers will flood the area.
International Drive has been desolate for the last six weeks. The coronavirus pandemic caused several businesses to temporarily close down, and many remain closed. However, on the same day of the reopening of Universal's City Walk, some retail shops in the I-Drive area saw an uptick in customers.
"It's definitely picked up since yesterday," said one store manager. "Hopefully, with the outlets opening up, in these next couple of days we'll get more business."
Madame Tussauds at ICON Park in Orlando is reopening. They announced on Facebook that VIPs can visit Madame Tussauds starting Friday, May 15. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Madame Tussauds website.
SEA LIFE Aquarium at ICON Park will also open on Friday, May 15. Tickets for both attractions can be paired together. Visit the SEA LIFE Aquarium website for tickets.
Florida is currently in phase one of reopening after rising coronavirus cases caused a statewide stay-at-home order. Phase one allows for a partial reopening of restaurants and retail stores, elective surgeries, and barbershops and salons with limited capacity. Governor DeSantis will make an announcement regarding gyms on Friday, citing that "First of all, this is a virus, that if you're in good shape, you're probably going to be okay. So why would we want to dissuade people from going to be in shape?"
Venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, and playhouses cannot reopen until phase two, which can begin when Florida shows no evidence of a rebound and resurgence of COVID-19 cases, while still maintaining the health benchmarks outlined in the plan, hospital bed capacity, and COVID-19 test positive rate. When these venues reopen, they must operate at no more than 75 percent capacity and with strict social distancing protocols. Parties also cannot exceed ten.
The Governor's reopening plan also states that "[m]useums and libraries may open at no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy, provided, however, that (a) local public museums and local public libraries may operate only if permitted by local government, and (b) any components of museums or libraries that have interactive functions or exhibits, including child play areas, remain closed.”
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