Florida begins to open with Phase 1: here's what it means

Posted at 5:11 AM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 10:52:02-04

On Monday, most of Florida will enter Phase 1 of Governor Ron DeSantis' plan to reopen the Sunshine State.

What does this mean? It means Floridians outside of Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties can finally take the first permitted -- but slow -- steps toward their path to normalcy.

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Restaurants and retail can now reopen but with limited capacities. County leaders in the Tampa Bay area have also announced some of the beaches can reopen as long as beachgoers continue to practice social distancing.

Here is what is reopening on Monday, May 4:

  • Public beaches in part of the Tampa Bay area: Citrus, Hernando, Manatee, Pinellas, Sarasota counties
  • Florida state parks
  • Elective surgeries can resume
  • Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with 6 foot space between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity
  • Retail can operate at 25% of indoor capacity

Places not reopening during Phase 1:

  • Public beaches in part of the Tampa Bay area: Hillsborough, Pasco counties*
  • Bars, gyms and personal services such as hair dressers
  • Schools remain distance learning
  • Visits to senior living facilities are still prohibited
  • Hillsborough parks: Restrooms, playgrounds, picnic area and sports fields will stay closed

* = Reopening date has not yet been announced as of Sunday, May 3.