Phase 1 of reopening began on May 18th and nearly three weeks later Governor DeSantis has announced that Florida will enter phase 2 of reopening on Friday, allowing bars, movie theaters, and more to reopen!
Under phase two, bars and pubs may operate at 50% capacity inside and full capacity outside for dine-in service, although customers must be seated to get served. Movie theaters and bowling alleys will also reopen with 50% capacity, appropriate social distancing, and sanitation protocols. Pari-mutual facilities which house events like slots, racing wagers and cardrooms, will also be able to reopen with new health procedures. Personal services businesses including tattoo parlors, tanning salons, and massage establishments are included under Phase 2 reopening as well.
Since the safe, smart step by step plan for Florida’s recovery was announced over a month ago, there has been a large increase in the number of COVID-19 tests being administered to Floridians. Statewide COVID-19 positive ICU hospitalizations has decreased by 50% and the amount of people on ventilators has decrease by 65% since entering Phase 1. The Florida Department of Health has reported a total of 58,764 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of March, as well as a total of 2,566 deaths due to the novel respiratory illness.
While Phase 2 is a huge step for many Floridians, the Reopen Florida Task Force still urges residences to avoid large gatherings with 50 or more people, continue to practice social distancing, anyone over the age of 65 with underlying medical conditions are strongly urged to avoid groups and take all measures to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, and always wash your hands.