By Carey Codd

BROWARD (CBSMiami) – Broward County could soon be partially reopening restaurants, retail stores, salons and some other businesses.

That’s the word from Broward County Mayor Dale Holness after a conference call with the vast majority of the county’s mayors on Monday.

It appears that Broward will begin it’s gradual reopening alongside Miami-Dade next Monday, May 18.

“The sentiment is that we continue working together and have a unified approach opening up the county and that it be done across the county line with Miami-Dade County,” said Holness.

We spoke to several people on Las Olas Boulevard on Monday night. Some want to see stores open now.

“I think it’s a good idea for as soon as possible,” Shawn Gill said.

Others who are more cautious.

“I personally will probably give it a little bit of time to see how the reopening goes and what the numbers look,” said Marissa Henesey. “I have no problem staying at home.”

In Palm Beach County, salons, retail stores and restaurants began a phased reopening on Monday.

At the Dirty Blonde hair salon, owner Nel Bloom began unloading supplies.

“We’re very excited to reopen. Our staff has been eager to work,” she said.

They can handle 50% capacity. The salon will separate customers and spend time between customers disinfecting the business.

Retail stores can open at 25% capacity, and it’s the same with restaurants.

Tim Baker told CBS4 he was looking forward to sitting outside his restaurant for the first time in nearly two months.

“I feel great,” he said. “I feel safe and secure. The restaurant took additional precautions for our safety. It is a relief. There is now a sense of normalcy and getting back to what it should be and having social interaction with people. It is really bringing it home.”

That’s what Holness wants as well. He wants a return to some normalcy for businesses, but a continued vigilance for social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing and precautions.

“It is a delicate balance. We know that this pandemic is damaging, dangerous, it cost life. On the other side, we also know that as a result of it there’s devastating economic impact on the community,” he said.

On Tuesday, county commissioners will hold a special workshop on reopening businesses. The public can view the meeting on broward.org or on the county’s social media pages.

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