The reopening of Florida has had a great start with a slow approach to see how the process would pan out. We saw restaurants reopening, certain stores putting their “open signs” and other businesses welcoming people in. Parks were open for people to enjoy the fresh air while beaches were open with social distancing policies in place to make sure large groups didn’t gather. Since this process has worked well, Governor DeSantis made an update on May 15.
During the update, he said that restaurants will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity as well as retail shops, museums, and libraries starting on May 18. Miami-Dade and Broward counties were not included in the initial reopening process, but DeSantis signed off on plans to reopen restaurants and other non-essential businesses there. Barbershops and hair salons will be able to operate with 25 percent capacity and gyms can open with proper sanitizing and distancing. The businesses that are staying the same are bars, nightclubs, theaters, and schools will remain in a distance-learning setting.
While phase two has not been discussed, there are plans for the conversation to happen soon with businesses allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity. There is no specific date for this, but the governor must determine when this would be suitable based on data provided by health officials. Vulnerable populations would still need to shelter in place and vulnerable personnel that return to work would need special accommodations.
While things are opening up and getting back to normal, it is important to stay cautious and understand that the virus can have a resurgence. We should never let our guard down, so we need to continue washing our hands often, using masks and gloves when in highly populated areas, and practice physical distancing as much as possible. There is no need to panic or worry, but it’s always good to be extra cautious!
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