ORLANDO, Fla. - Most of Florida will enter phase two of reopening on Friday, bringing higher capacity limits and allowing more businesses to reopen.
Currently, Florida is in the complete version of phase one of reopening under the 'Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery' by Governor Ron DeSantis.
Phase one of reopening:
- 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
- Barbershops 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
Governor DeSantis announced that most of Florida -- 64 out of 67 counties -- will enter phase two of reopening on Friday, June 5th.
The changes that will come with phase two are:
- Restaurants can now allow bar-top seating with appropriate social distancing.
- Bars and pubs can now operate with 50 percent capacity indoors and full capacity outside as long as appropriate social distancing is followed. Only seated patrons can receive service.
- Retail stores can now operate at full capacity with responsible social distancing and sanitization protocols.
- Gyms can now operate at full capacity as well with appropriate social distancing and frequent sanitization.
- Entertainment businesses, like movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades, can operate at 50 percent with appropriate social distancing and sanitization protocols.
- Personal services businesses, including but not limited to tattoo parlors, acupuncture establishments, tanning salons, and massage establishments, may operate with guidance from the Florida Department of Health.
- Pari-mutuel betting facilities can submit a request to reopen to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The request must include an endorsement from their county mayor or county administrator if there is no mayor.
Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach -- which are the counties that got hit the heaviest by coronavirus in Florida -- will remain in phase one for the time being. When ready, they can seek approval from their county mayor or county administrator to enter phase two.
With phase two starting on Friday, the state is offering guidance to keep vulnerable individuals safe from coronavirus.
They said individuals over age 65 and or with underlying medical conditions are strongly encouraged to avoid crowds and take measures to limit the risk of exposure. In addition, all individuals that work in long-term care facilities should be tested for COVID-19 on a routine basis. All persons are encouraged to avoid congregating in groups larger than 50 as well.
Florida has reported a total of 58,764 known COVID-19 cases. The latest increase, 1,317 new cases in one day, was the largest single-day increase of reported coronavirus cases in the last 30 days and one of the largest since the pandemic began. The number of deaths, though, is on the decline.
Coronavirus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces. Others can then contract the virus by touching these objects or surfaces, then their eyes, nose or mouth.
As stated before, symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. They may show in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure, the Florida Department of Health says. Most people recover from COVID-19 without special treatment, but the elderly and those with underlying medical problems are more likely to develop serious illness.
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 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 COVIDemail@example.com.
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