TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled his "SAFE. SMART. STEP-BY-STEP PLAN" to reopen Florida Wednesday night.
During Gov. DeSantis' press conference, he announced the first phase of reopening businesses can begin Monday, May 4, with restaurants and businesses allowed to open on limited capacities.
WHAT IS PHASE 1?
Here are the basics of phase one of Gov. DeSantis' plan:
- Schools must keep distance learning
- Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited
- Elective surgeries can resume
- Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with six feet of space between tables
- Indoor seating at restaurants must be at 25% capacity
- No change for bars, gyms and personal services, like hair dressers
- Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home
- Everyone should maximize physical distance from others while in public
- Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not "readily allow for physical distancing"
- Face masks are recommended for those in face-to-face interactions and where you can't social distance.
The reopening plan applies for all Florida counties except Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties, Gov. DeSantis said.
"We will get Florida back on its feet," Gov. DeSantis said Wednesday.
According to the plan, essential business guidance will continue, meaning if the business was essential before, what they were doing is basically still fine. Libraries and museums can also open at 25 percent capacity with local gov approval.
Florida residents had been under a statewide safer-at-home order since April 2.
- Gov. DeSantis issues 'safer-at-home' order directing residents to 'limit movements' to essential activities
- The difference between 'Safer at Home' and 'Stay at Home' orders
- Gov. DeSantis says Florida will reopen slowly, methodically
DOES THIS EXECUTIVE ORDER SUPERSEDE LOCAL LAW?
According to the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91, "limiting the movements of persons has been incorporated and modified in the new Executive Order 20-112 to include businesses currently open and certain businesses re-opening at 25 percent building occupancy. The Governor’s Executive Orders do not contain a preemption on local rules where those rules restrict or close businesses or buildings."
Gov. DeSantis said the state is working to build a foundation for Florida's future.
He presented the key metrics to consider before the state moves on to phase 2:
- The state maintains the health benchmarks of the "Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan"
- Maintaining hospital bed capacity
- Monitoring COVID-19 test positivity rate
Gov. DeSantis' plan says these three steps do not need to take months. It will be based in the state's health metrics and will be guided by medical authorities, according to Gov. DeSantis' plan.
Earlier in the week, Gov. DeSantis said his plan was to reopen the Sunshine State in “baby steps.”
"Folks should see a light at the end of the tunnel for the state of Florida. Now it’s not going to be something that a switch is going to be flipped," Gov. DeSantis said at Tampa General Hospital earlier in the week. "This is going to be slow and steady wins the race. It’s going to be methodical, very data driven, and there’s gonna probably be some people that think it’s too slow."
As of Wednesday, Florida has more than 33,000 coronavirus cases, more than 5,400 hospitalizations and more than 1,200 deaths, according to DOH.