Ward Law LLC is dedicated to keeping our clients informed about all things COVID-19 related. Our business is to ensure that you have all the information you need to keep your business going. In that regard, please read below for an update on plans to reopen the State of Florida.
As expected, Governor Ron DeSantis is advancing Florida’s reopening efforts ahead of many of the nation’s other states. As has largely been the case throughout the pandemic, he is following guidance by the Trump administration almost to the letter. On Thursday and Friday this week, he made separate announcements that impact businesses within the state looking to get back to something close to business as (almost) usual.
In a Thursday press conference, the governor announced that Broward and Miami-Dade counties will be allowed to move into Phase 1 of reopening. Recall that the initial reopening on May 4th did not include Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade counties. Those communities have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, experiencing the most cases and the most deaths in the state. However, Palm Beach was allowed to enter into Phase 1 recently, and not the remaining two counties will be allowed to do the same. Thus, all of Florida is now on the path toward full business operation.
When the initial reopening was announced, restaurants and retail establishments were permitted to have people inside their establishment, but the number of people was capped at 25% of occupancy capacity. On Friday, Governor DeSantis announced that he will authorize an increase to 50% of occupancy capacity. Likewise, museums and libraries may operate at 50% occupancy capacity. Gyms will now be able to reopen as well. DeSantis also said theme parks can submit reopening plans that must include dates for reopening. The plans would need to be approved by local officials before reopening can occur.
All of the foregoing measures go into effect on Monday, May 18th. However, it should be noted that, while all counties are allowed to implement these steps in reopening, several local municipalities and individual businesses have chosen to delay reopening. It is important to check with local authorities on the timing to be sure there are not more restrictive requirements and timeframes for reopening.
For any questions about FL’s reopening plans, please email the Ward Law helpline any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.