Florida transitions to Phase 3 in COVID-19 recovery plan

Southeast

TAMPA, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all restrictions on restaurants and other businesses Friday in an effort to reopen the state’s economy despite the spread of the COVID-19.

The Phase 3 order will take effect immediately, DeSantis said. “We’re not closing anything going forward,” he added.

DeSantis’ executive order states that “no COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or operating a business, giving Floridians and business owners needed certainty and the ability to provide for themselves and their families.”

The state reported 2,541 new cases and 177 deaths on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Here’s what Phase 3 means, according to the state’s guidelines:

Individuals:

  • Vulnerable Populations
    • Individuals older than 65 years of age and individuals with a serious underlying medical condition (such as chronic lung disease, moderate-to-severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immune-compromised status, cancer, diabetes, severe obesity, renal failure and liver disease) can resume public interactions, but should practice social distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed. Vulnerable populations should affirmatively inform their employer that they are a member of the vulnerable population so that their employer can plan accordingly.
  • Social Gatherings
    • Non-vulnerable populations should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.
  • Travel
    • Non-essential travel may continue.

Employers:

  • Telework
    • Employees should resume unrestricted staffing of worksites and implement the final phasing in of employees returning to work. For vulnerable populations, teleworking can be considered.
  • Employee Screening
    • Employers should take prudent and practical measures to ensure employees do not enter the premises if they believe they are infected with COVID-19 or show symptoms of influenza-like illness.
  • Travel
    • Employees should resume non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel.
  • Local Government Meetings
    • These meetings should return to in-person quorum and public participation for local government bodies

Other businesses:

  • Bars, Pubs and Nightclubs
    • Bars, pubs, and nightclubs that derive more than 50 percent of sales from alcohol should operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols. Businesses should maintain adequate sanitation practices among employees and patrons during all hours of operation.
    • Menus, if laminated, should be cleaned after each usage. Paper menus should be designed for single-use and then disposed of immediately after use.
  • Restaurants
    • Restaurants and food service establishments may operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols.
    • Businesses should maintain adequate sanitation practices among employees and patrons during all hours of operation.
    • Menus, if laminated, should continue to be cleaned after each usage. Paper menus shall be designed for single-use and then disposed of immediately after use.
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers
    • Gyms and Fitness centers should open to full capacity but should maintain adequate sanitation practices among employees and patrons during all hours of operation.
  • Recreation
    • State Parks: State parks should be fully opened, including overnight accommodations.
    • Public Beaches: Beaches should remain fully open.
    • Large Venues (i.e. movie theaters, concert halls, auditoriums, bowling alleys, arcades, playhouses, casinos): These venues should re-open fully with limited social distancing protocols.
  • Large Sporting Events and Theme Parks
    • Large spectator sporting events should consider reducing capacity with limited social distancing protocols.
    • Theme parks may return to normal operations with limited social distancing protocols.
  • Vacation Rentals
    • Vacation Rentals should resume normal operating procedures but should continue to thoroughly clean and disinfect the property between rentals.
  • Personal Services Businesses
    • Personal Services Businesses, such as cosmetology salons, barbershops and nail salons, should operate under full capacity but should consider the following mitigation measures:
      • Continue to maintain adequate sanitation practices for employees and patrons.
      • Regularly clean and disinfect working stations and equipment between interactions with customers to the greatest frequency feasible.
      • Remove all unnecessary, frequent-touch items such as magazines, newspapers, service menus, any other unnecessary paper products and décor from customer service areas.
  • Retail Businesses
    • Operators of retail businesses should operate at full capacity but should continue to maintain adequate sanitation practices for employees and patrons.

NewsNation affiliate WFLA contributed to this report.

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