TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has revealed his plan for the slow and methodical reopening of the state, however, phase one of the plan does not include Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Gov. DeSantis announced Wednesday that restaurants and retail stores can reopen at limited capacity on Monday, May 4.  Capacity will be limited to 25%.

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The governor is being more cautious than the recommendations given to him by a task force he established to make suggestions on reopening business.

The governor specifically excluded hard-hit, heavily populated Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, saying their businesses will begin phase one when it is safer. Local governments will be allowed to have more restrictive policies than the state.

Watch what Governor DeSantis had to say:


His order will also allow hospitals and surgical centers to restart nonessential, elective procedures in the rest of the state, but only if they have sufficient medical supplies and agree to help nursing homes and assisted living facilities prevent and respond to coronavirus outbreaks.

Parks, golf courses and other outdoor recreation areas already began reopening in some counties Wednesday, including some parts of Miami-Dade and Broward.

DeSantis is being more cautious than the neighboring state of Georgia, as well as the task force DeSantis formed last week to study how to get people back to work.  The task force suggested restaurants could operate at 50% capacity, but the governor is easing in more slowly.

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He said earlier this week that Florida will take “baby steps” in trying to resume business and is following through with that approach.

The task force also suggested reopening gyms and barbershops with restrictions, but he’s not allowing that in the first phase.

DeSantis is also not setting a date for the second phase. Instead, he’s taking a wait-and-see approach to how the state fares during the first phase, his staff said.

Bars and nightclubs also won’t reopen yet, but DeSantis is giving approval to sporting events if they don’t include spectators.

The state will continue to restrict visitors to nursing homes and state prisons.

Florida has had more than 33,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, resulting in at least 1,218 deaths, according to the state Department of Health. But there has been a downward trend in new cases since early April.

The state, like the nation, has seen large swaths of its workforce thrown into unemployment because of the shutdown and its two biggest economic sectors, tourism and agriculture, decimated as visitors fled and institutional produce buyers such as hotels and schools closed.

It’s been more than a month since the governor ordered the first closures and more than 800,000 Floridians have filed for unemployment.

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