When will Florida enter phase 3 and what will it include?

Florida is currently in phase 2 of reopening which allowed more businesses to reopen that have been shut down since the coronavirus pandemic struck.

As the state sees a spike in coronavirus cases since phase 2 began a week ago, it’s unlikely that Governor Ron DeSantis is ready to propel Florida into phase 3 too quickly.

In the governor’s 'Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery,' the three phases are outlined for Florida's reopening. He said that the plan is safe, smart, and data-driven, taking input and advice into account from those in prominent positions, health care system executives, small business owners, elected officials, unemployed Floridians, and law enforcement.

RELATED: Governor DeSantis announces plan to reopen schools at full capacity in the fall

Governor DeSantis previously said that he hopes the phases will last weeks, not months. However, he acknowledges that it will be data-driven and that the next phase will not be entered until ready.

According to his plan, Florida will be ready to enter phase 3 “when there is no evidence of a rebound or resurgence of COVID-19 cases and satisfies the benchmarks outlined” in his plan.

When phase 3 goes into effect, several changes will come along with it:

  • Individuals older than 65 years of age and individuals with a serious underlying medical condition can resume public interactions, but should practice social distancing.
  • Non-vulnerable populations should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.
  • Non-essential travel may continue.
  • Employees should resume unrestricted staffing of worksites and implement the final phasing in of employees returning to work.
  • Employees should resume non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel.
  • Local government meetings should return to in-person quorum and public participation for local government bodies.
  • Bars, pubs, and nightclubs that derive more than 50 percent of sales from alcohol should operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols. Businesses should maintain adequate sanitation practices.
  • Restaurants and food service establishments may operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols. Businesses should maintain adequate sanitation practices.
  • Gyms and fitness centers should open to full capacity but should maintain adequate sanitation practices among employees and patrons during all hours of operation.
  • State parks should be fully opened, including overnight accommodations.
  • Beaches should remain fully open.
  • Large venues such as movie theaters, concert halls, and bowling alleys should re-open fully with limited social distancing protocols.
  • Large spectator sporting events should consider reducing capacity with limited social distancing protocols.
  • Theme parks may return to normal operations with limited social distancing protocols.
  • Salons, barbershops and nail salons, should operate under full capacity but should consider removing all unnecessary, frequent-touch items such as magazines and newspapers, and maintain sanitation standards.
  • Retail businesses should operate at full capacity.

As far as education, the governor announced on Thursday that he is planning for schools to resume on-campus instruction in August when the new school year begins.

RELATED: Tracking coronavirus: Florida hits daily record high with 1,902 new cases, 29 more deaths

“Getting back on our feet in the school year is going to be really important for the well-being of our kids, but I think it’s going to be important for our parents, who have had to juggle a lot over the last few months,” DeSantis said.

The governor laid out plans to provide supplemental education for closing achievement gaps for early learning through K-12 students who need additional support due to the school closures because of COVID-19. Those initiatives are outlined as a requirement for the state to enter phase 3 of reopening.

Please visit the Department’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 COVID-19@flhealth.gov.