Governor DeSantis announces that Florida is moving into Phase 3

Bars, restaurants, gym and more can open at full capacity—and that might also be the case in South Florida.

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil
USA Editor
Bougainvillea's Old Florida Tavern  
Photograph: Shutterstock

Life as we knew it before March could be back to normal very soon. On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state would be moving into Phase 3.

While he didn’t specify a timeline (though based on past conferences, dates could go into effect the coming Monday) Governor DeSantis emphatically said that all of Florida’s bars, restaurants and other places of business will be allowed to reopen at full capacity. South Florida has delayed its reopenings by a couple of weeks compared to the rest of the state, but this time might be different. The governor’s order will preempt local rules that enforce bar and restaurant closures, allowing all establishments to reopen with at least 50-percent capacity. Plus, he’s making municipalities justify rules for limiting occupancy between 50 and 100 percent.

His reasons for superseding local guidelines included making sure that everyone in Florida had the right to make a living and recognizing the hospitality industry for all the hard work they’ve done since March. “You can’t say no for six months and have people twisting in the wind,” said Governor DeSantis. Phase 3 basically thrusts us back to where we were at the beginning of the year, including requiring city officials to hold live, public meetings, and giving employers permission to implement the final phasing in of employees returning to work.

According to Miami Herald reporters on Twitter, Government DeSantis’ news took everyone by surprise, including local government officials. Miami Beach is figuring out its plans for holding public meetings while Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez is working out a course of action for the county. South Florida could very well delay as it has in the past, but it’s still unclear when we’ll go into Phase 3. Until then, we govern ourselves accordingly.

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