ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County is expected to release more details today about its plans to re-open the county ahead of restaurants and retail stores re-opening on Monday.
Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Wednesday allowing restaurants to allow in-door dining at 25 percent capacity and outdoor seating with social distancing guidelines in place starting May 4. The order also allows retail stores to re-open at 25 percent capacity while also following social distancing and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
On Thursday, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force would still play a significant role in determining how businesses can re-open. The governor’s order allows counties to put stricter rules in place if they deem it necessary. Mayor Demings has already said the county’s nightly curfew from 11 p.m.- 5 a.m. will stay in place indefinitely.
“My desire is to make certain that as the mayor of Orange County the businesses operating here in Orange County receive additional guidance.”
The mayor hopes to have re-opening recommendations from the task force by the end of Friday. He said the task force is working on what health and sanitation rules businesses will have to follow.
"We will have to digest their recommendations and then do something that’s sensible for our residents here in Orange County.”
The mayor also talked about the possibility of malls re-opening on Monday and what challenges they are facing.
“They have to be able to reasonably meet the demand of people entering their malls. Whether or not they’ll do some type of temperature screening of individuals going in, they are all having those conversations in preparation to potentially open.”
Mayor Demings said it is important to keep in mind that while retail stores and restaurants can open starting May 4th some may choose not to re-open.
“There [are] recommendations there where each individual business may have to look at its own unique experience to provide the consumer confidence to its patrons.”
The Mayor also said he wants to consult with neighboring counties to make sure there is some consistency in re-opening plans across the board.