So far, there have not been significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases. However, we have note seen a notable decrease in case numbers either. Florida is fast approaching Phase Two of our state’s plans to reopen the economy as the governor opens more and more businesses and increases crowd capacity within each.
While many people are divided on how we should handle the next few months in the wake of the pandemic, there is no doubt that change is coming. After entering Phase One this month, we are approaching Phase Two of DeSantis’s “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step” state plan for reopening.
Rapid changes have occurred in Phase One and include an increase from 25 to 50 percent capacity for:
- Retail Stores
Other significant re-openings we’ve seen in the past few weeks include:
- Youth Activity restrictions have been lifted. This will include summer camps and organized sports. It is effective immediately. There have been no recorded deaths in Florida for anyone under 25. Daycares were not officially closed under government mandate when the governor announced the state shutdown. They are free to reopen or remain open to provide childcare for essential and front line workers.
- Gyms reopened on the 18th of May to the delight of many. The governor stated in a news conference Thursday that “This is a virus that, if you’re in good shape, you’re probably going to be okay, so why would we want to dissuade people from going to be in shape?” He encouraged social distancing and sanitation while at the gym. “We need a functional society to beat this virus” he said.
- Hairdressers and nail salons are open by appointment only.
- The Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa reopened on May 21st. Safety guidelines and precautions are being implemented and include, but are not limited, to the following:
- guest/employee temperature check at the door
- masks are required for guests and employees
- social distancing practices are being put into place throughout the casino
- purification system will run constantly throughout the casino
- 50% capacity at restaurants.
- Theme Parks are planning on reopening with 20-30 percent capacity in the near future and some will pre-sale tickets.
- Legoland will welcome guests June 1st
- Universal Studios on June 5th
- Disney will begin making reservations on July 1st
- Busch Gardens and Sea World have not announced a date
When we are fully at Phase Two you can expect:
- Non-essential travel will be reinstated
- Bars and nightclubs will reopen
- Gyms, restaurants, and retail stores will increase occupancy to 75%. Non-essential travel will be reinstated.
- The task force recommends that bars and nightclubs be allowed to operate at 50 percent of the building capacity, while restaurants will be allowed to operate at no more than 75 percent of its building’s capacity.
- Gyms and fitness centers would also be allowed to operate at up to 75 percent of its building’s capacity, according to the task force’s report.
- Hairdressers and nail salons can operate at 75 percent
To date Florida’s unemployment numbers continue to increase and the department is behind on unemployment checks while 1.3 million without compensation – some for 2 months.
There are currently over 50,000 positive cases in Florida.