COVID-19 Task Force E-lert: Gov. DeSantis Issues Guidelines on Florida's Reopening

Wednesday evening, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered a press conference in Tallahassee outlining the state’s phased reopening “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step, Plan for Florida’s Recovery,” which begins on Monday, May 4, 2020.

The following will be implemented as Phase 1 of the Recovery Plan:

  • Distance learning continues through the end of the academic year
  • Elective surgeries can resume
  • Restaurants can reopen outdoor dining using social distancing guidelines (6 fort apart), and indoor dining is allowed at 25% capacity
  • Retail stores can reopen at 25% capacity
  • Bars, movie theaters, hairdressers, and gyms remain closed
  • Visits to senior living facilities remain prohibited
  • Essential services and essential activities may continue to be conducted under existing safety guidelines issued by the CDC and OSHA

These relaxed Phase I guidelines do not pertain to Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties (with the exception of the lifting of the prohibition of elective surgeries). The Governor explained those three counties should continue to adhere to the guidelines originally put in place by Executive Orders 20-87 and 20-91, due to the amount of fatalities that have occurred there from the coronavirus. Future allowances for services and activities in those three counties will be considered in consultation with local government leaders. 

Gov. DeSantis also noted that the most vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, should remain sheltered in place. All individuals, when in public, should maximize their distance from others, and avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 in circumstances that do not allow distancing.

Phase I of Gov. DeSantis’ Plan will remain in place until he can determine Phase II Gating Criteria guidelines are met.  

Clarifying details regarding Florida’s phased reopening were included in Executive Order 20-112 issued this evening. The Governor also issued Executive Order 20-111, effectively extending Executive Orders 20-87 and 20-91 until 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 4, 2020.