Florida to Enter Full 'Phase 1' Reopening on May 18th

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced what he called the 'full phase one' reopening of the state, beginning Monday, May 18th. Here's a list of the changes accompanying this new order: 

  • Indoor seating at restaurants expands to 50% capacity. 
  • Retail stores can operate at 50% capacity. 
  • Gyms can open to 50% capacity but must adhere to proper social distancing and sanitization guidelines. 
  • Barbershops and hair salons can operate at 25% indoor capacity. 
  • Elective surgeries can resume. 

The governor's order doesn't include any changes for bars, nightclubs, or theaters. Also, schools will remain distance-learning only, and visits to senior living facilities remain prohibited. As was the case with his initial reopening order, local governments can have more restrictive policies if desired. 

When phase two is implemented, bars, pubs, and nightclubs will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity, while restaurants, retail, barbershops and salons, and large venues can operate at 75% capacity. Also, sporting events can reopen at 50% capacity, and theme parks can open with limited capacity and strict social distancing guidelines. 

Phase three, the final stage of Florida's reopening plan, would lift nearly all restrictions. 

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

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