Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has confirmed that Florida will be moving into a new phase following the lockdown, starting today.
The governor, speaking at a press conference in Jacksonville on Friday said that the state would be moving into “phase one” commencing Monday – thanks to the progress that has been made in reducing the number of infections from the virus across the state.
As of Monday morning, libraries, stores, restaurants, and museums will be able to increase the number of visitors by up to 50%. The capacity increases will be gradual as social distancing rules will need to be respected.
Gyms will also be able to open with social distance restrictions for people going to venues across the state. The governor in his remarks said that the virus “tends to attack people who have health problems” and encouraged people to “stay in shape” as the state unlocks. Sports venues could also reopen as of Monday with training allowed, but teams would have to be cautious.
Amusement parks will also be able to reopen as of Monday with added safety measures in place. Businesses within the entertainment and leisure sectors will have to submit reopening plans and obtain a permit in order to start serving customers.
The implementation of “full Phase One” means that there will still be a considerable number of citizens required to self-isolate at home including vulnerable people in the most at-risk categories.
DeSantis also stressed that due to the enclosed indoor environments of some venues, and the risk of spreading the disease, some businesses would face a long wait before they could restart their activities.
While a large number of businesses will be able to open in the first phase, movie theaters, concert halls, and bars would have to remain closed for the time being.
Since the start of the pandemic, Florida has recorded more than 40,000 cases including 1,875 deaths, with the situation being monitored as the lockdown restrictions are eased.