JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis said on Friday that all Florida state parks will reopen as part of his "SAFE. SMART. STEP-BY-STEP. PLAN" to get the state open again.
The parks are set to open Monday, May 4, according to DeSantis. All parks were closed March 23 amid the pandemic.
"Today I'm announcing as part of Phase One, that beginning Monday, May 4, Florida's world-renowned state park system will be opening," the governor said during a press conference in Jacksonville.
DeSantis said the parks being open will be beneficial for Floridians' peace of mind. He said the parks are an important part of the quality of life for residents in the state.
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He also spoke of a study done by the Department of Homeland Security's BioDefense lab on the effect of sunlight when it comes to COVID-19.
"The DHS study said that sunlight rapidly killed the virus and aerosols, and it said that outdoor, daytime environments are lower risk for transmission of the virus," DeSantis said.
The governor added that it doesn't mean the virus can't be transmitted in these environments, but he said open spaces presented a lower risk.
Exact rules haven't been announced, but the governor said he wants the parks opened responsibly and said there would be some restrictions in place.
"There are going to be some restrictions, cause we do want to continue social distancing. It's a smart thing to do," DeSantis said. "You're out there with your family, and you're not getting involved in big groups — very low-risk. But we want to make sure that we continue to do these things responsibly."
DeSantis said the Department of Environmental Protection would be rolling out the exact parameters.