Phase 1 of Florida's reopening is set to begin Monday with some restaurants and retail stores opening on a limited capacity.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said most of Florida will be able to enter phase one of a three-phase reopening plan on Monday, except for the three counties with the most COVID-19 cases in South Florida.
As restaurants in many Florida cities prepare to re-open on Monday under new pandemic rules set by Gov. Ron DeSantis, officials in some counties say a patchwork of state regulations makes implementing the guidelines difficult.
Restaurants in all but three South Florida counties can reopen inside dining rooms at 25% capacity. Outside areas are limited only by social distancing guidelines - tables 6 feet apart, with no parties of more than 10 people.
Some businesses are already asking local officials for expansion of outdoor seating. In Lee County, for example, officials are allowing restaurants to place tables and seating in areas not previously allowed, such as parking lots. The relaxing of those rules will remain in effect until five days after restaurants are able to operate at 100% capacity per the governor.
Phase one of reopening Florida will include:
Restaurants and food establishments can operate at no more than 25% capacity. Restaurants should also maintain a minimum of 6 feet between parties.
Retail stores can reopen if they operate at no more than 25% of their building occupancy and abide by the safety guidelines issued by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).
Museums and libraries may open at no more than 25% of their building occupancy. The plan said local public museums and local public libraries may operate only if permitted by local government. Child play areas must remain closed.
Elective surgeries may summarize.
A limited number of state parks can open for daytime use only. Visitors will not have access to certain amenities, such as pavilions, picnic areas and campsites due to sections of the park being closed or staff and visitor safety considerations.
Public Beaches can reopen and beach access should be limited to parties of 10 or less with 6 feet of distance between groups. Beach closures should remain a local government decision.
DeSantis said in phase one schools, bars, gyms and personal services will remain closed.