ORLANDO (CBSMiami) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Phase 2 of reopening Florida’s economy would begin on Friday, except in South Florida.
DeSantis made his announcement at Universal Parks and Resorts, which opened to passholders for Wednesday and Thursday, and will open to the public on Friday.
Friday is also the day where Phase 2 of the reopening will begin, with bars allowed to open at 50%
“You’re seated to get served. People go, enjoy, have a drink, that’s fine, We want to kind of not have huge crowds piling in,” DeSantis said.
Customers can only be served at bars if they are seated. Restaurants can operate at full capacity.
“Now, the virus isn’t gone. I think that we’re testing a lot. We are identifying cases, particularly in prisons, amongst agriculture workers, amongst areas where you have a lot of congregation, close quarters for a long period of time,” DeSantis said. “And so we’re going to continue to keep an eye on that, continue to test in those areas. But I think we have an opportunity to continue to move forward in a safe, smart, step-by-step approach, and I think it gets more people in Florida more opportunities.”
The Executive Order signed Wednesday for phase two reopening does not include Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach Counties, similar to the way they were initially left out of the first phase of the reopening. The South Florida counties will have to submit plans for the next step in their reopening.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 3, 2020
Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach can submit plans and ask for approval to join the rest of the state in Phase 2. Miami-Dade and Broward were delayed two weeks from entering Phase 1.
Restaurant managers like Patricia Ramos from Bulla Gastropub in Doral says the extra time allows the restaurant and customers adjust to new rules.
“We have to take it little by little and see how everything responds,” Ramos said. “Some guests still forget to wear their mask. Some don’t want to take their temperature. Sometimes this is hard for us because we don’t want to impose but we know we have to follow the rules.”
An extra week or two helps logistically, but managers like Ramos and Enrique Arces from Pisco y Nazca admit getting all their workers back is a top priority.
“The bar will be able to open with some social distancing and we’ll be able to bring more of our staff for sure,” Arces said.
In the state’s 64 other counties, restaurants will be able to open their bar top seating with proper social distancing.
Retail establishments may operate at full capacity and so can gyms with proper social distancing guidelines and frequent sanitization.
Movie theaters, concert venues, bowling alleys and arcades can open at 50 percent capacity.
Tattoo parlors, tanning salons, acupuncture and massage businesses can also reopen, under guidance from the Florida Dept. of Health.
In all cases, social distancing and sanitization protocols must be maintained.
DeSantis included pari-mutuels in Wednesday’s order, even though some have already reopened.
Pari-mutuels that have remained closed must get local approval before the state will sign off, DeSantis noted.
“We just want to make sure that there’s a plan and that people are adhering to the necessary safety protocols,” DeSantis said.
People who are still susceptible to becoming ill from COVID-19, including those over 65 and those with underlying medical conditions should continue to avoid groups and activities that can risk exposure.
Also, groups of 50 and under are now allowed to gather.
DeSantis also announced that Florida’s state universities will present their plans to reopen in the fall to a task force on June 23.