Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday that Florida is moving into Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan, opening the path for restaurants and other businesses to fully reopen.
DeSantis made the announcement in St. Petersburg.
He said that the state is moving into Phase 3 which means that there will be no restrictions for restaurants to operate, given other safety guidelines such as sanitizing menus and voluntary mask wearing by staff. “What that means for restaurants is that there will not be limitations in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “I think this will be very important to the industry.”
The order also preempts local governments’ abilities to close businesses and assess fines on individuals.
It’s unclear how much of the Phase 3 plan the governor is implementing right now. South Florida counties, the hardest hit areas with COVID-19 infections, may continue to impose stricter standards despite the governor’s order.
The report on Phase 3 is contained at the link here https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/covid19/Taskforce%20Report.pdf
The Plan: Phases For Re-Opening PHASE 3 Phase 3 will begin after the successful conclusion of Phase 2, which includes a downward trajectory of the syndromic and epidemiology criteria while maintaining adequate health care capacity. This will occur when there is no evidence of a rebound or resurgence of COVID-19 cases and satisfies the benchmarks outlined in this Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. plan.
The Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. plan sets forth minimum recommended health protocols. Individuals and businesses should adhere to all public guidance by federal, state and local officials, including state regulatory agencies.
Vulnerable Populations Individuals older than 65 years of age and individuals with a serious underlying medical condition (such as chronic lung disease, moderate-to-severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immune-compromised status, cancer, diabetes, severe obesity, renal failure and liver disease) can resume public interactions, but should practice social distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed. Vulnerable populations should affirmatively inform their employer that they are a member of the vulnerable population so that their employer can plan accordingly.
Social Gatherings Non-vulnerable populations should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.
Travel Non-essential travel may continue
Telework Employees should resume unrestricted staffing of worksites and implement the final phasing in of employees returning to work. For vulnerable populations, teleworking can be considered.
Employee Screening Employers should take prudent and practical measures to ensure employees do not enter the premises if they believe they are infected with COVID-19 or show symptoms of influenza like illness.
Travel Employees should resume non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel. Local Government Meetings These meetings should return to in-person quorum and public participation for local government bodies.
Bars, Pubs and Nightclubs Bars, pubs, and nightclubs that derive more than 50 percent of sales from alcohol should operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols. Businesses should maintain adequate sanitation practices among employees and patrons during all hours of operation. Menus, if laminated, should be cleaned after each usage. Paper menus should be designed for single use and then disposed of immediately after use.
Restaurants Restaurants and food service establishments may operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols. Businesses should maintain adequate sanitation practices among employees and patrons during all hours of operation. Menus, if laminated, should continue to be cleaned after each usage. Paper menus shall be designed for single use and then disposed of immediately after use.
Gyms and Fitness Centers Gyms and fitness centers should open to full capacity but should maintain adequate sanitation practices among employees and patrons during all hours of operation.
Recreation State Parks: State parks should be fully opened, including overnight accommodations. Public Beaches: Beaches should remain fully opened Large Venues: (i.e. movie theaters, concert halls, auditoriums, bowling alleys, arcades, playhouses, casinos) These venues should re-open fully with limited social distancing protocols. Large Sporting Events and Theme Parks Large spectator sporting events should consider reducing capacity with limited social distancing protocols. Theme parks may return to normal operations with limited social distancing protocols.
Vacation Rentals should resume normal operating procedures but should continue to thoroughly clean and disinfect the property between rentals. Personal Services Businesses Personal Services Businesses, such as cosmetology salons, barber shops and nail salons, should operate under full capacity but should consider the following mitigation measures: Continue to maintain adequate sanitation practices for employees and patrons. Regularly clean and disinfect working stations and equipment between interactions with customers to the greatest frequency feasible Remove all unnecessary, frequent-touch items such as magazines, newspapers, service menus, any other unnecessary paper products and décor from customer service areas. Retail Businesses Operators of retail businesses should operate at full capacity but should continue to maintain adequate sanitation practices for employees and patrons.