After implementing a barebones blueprint of phase 1, Florida will be taking a slight detour on the road to phase 2, with the state set to enter a 2.0 version of phase 1 on Monday.
Governor Ron DeSantis announced at a press briefing in Jacksonville on Friday that the Sunshine State would be transitioning into a less restrictive form of phase 1, with gyms reopening and the capacity threshold at restaurants and other businesses being raised to 50 percent.
While Floridians were eyeing an announcement on the next phase, DeSantis took a more conservative approach, announcing “full phase one” at today’s press conference. A more broad version of phase 1 that was announced on May 4, the next phase in Florida’s reopening will allow gyms to reopen at 50 percent capacity on Monday.
“This is a virus that, if you’re in good shape, you’re probably going to be OK. So, why would we want to dissuade people from going to be in shape?” DeSantis said about gyms during a news conference in Doral.
Facilities that reopen will be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines and must clean and sanitize their equipment after each use.
The next step in restarting the economy will also include increasing the capacity at other businesses, such as restaurants, retail shops, museums, and libraries.
Who is pumped?!? Governor DeSantis announces that full Phase 1 starts Monday May 18th:
🏋️ Gyms can operate at 50% capacity – individuals must clean the equipment
📚Museums and Libraries can open at 50% capacity
🍔Restaurants and retail can have 50% capacity indoors pic.twitter.com/NYSxM30wgi
— City of Jacksonville (COJ) (@CityofJax) May 15, 2020
Movie theaters, however, which were included in the guidelines issued by the White House, will not reopen Monday. Bars and nightclubs will also remain closed for now, while theme parks will be allowed to submit a plan for reopening.
Vacation rentals will also remain closed, however, DeSantis said he would consider reopening them if they were being rented to other Florida residents.
Today’s announcement comes a little less than two weeks after DeSantis announced the initial steps for phase 1. The beta version of DeSantis’ recovery plan included allowing restaurants and retails shops to reopen at 25 percent indoor occupancy.
No plan for phase 2 has been announced.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for additional details.