It seems Florida will be one of the first states to reopen for business.
Following the lead of states like Georgia and Texas, Governor Ron DeSantis just announced that phase one of a reopening plan will go into effect on Monday, May 4. The caveat? It doesn’t include Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade or Monroe counties.
Other counties, however, will begin to ease social-distancing restrictions as follows:
- Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with a six-foot space between tables while indoor seating will need to at 25-percent capacity or less.
- Limited retail businesses may operate also at 25-percent capacity.
- Elective surgery may resume.
Schools will remain closed while offering virtual classes and visitors to senior facilities will not be allowed. Gyms, theaters, bars and personal care services, such as salons and barbershop will remain closed.
According to the mayor, it’s important for the elderly and people with compromised immune systems to avoid crowds and stay home. Healthy or not, groups of 10 or more people should also refrain from congregating. Masks are also recommended in face-to-face businesses or in situations where people may not be able to keep a proper distance, but the use of them will not be enforced. However, Miami-Dade County will still fine you for not wearing one, so don’t ditch yours just yet.
Florida will continue to monitor current COVID cases and testing rates as well as maintain hospital bed capacity before considering a move to phase two, which the governor has not yet disclosed. The timeline is TBD but it does not need to take months, says DeSantis, who’s relying on the recommendations of medical authorities and health metrics for his so-called Step-by-Step Plan.
As for South Florida, that’s still up in the air but the governor believes Miami and surrounding areas could open soon: "I think they can get to phase one because the cases are declining." Perhaps, but it won’t be Monday, folks.
Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.