On May 4th, most of Florida (exceptions include Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties) will begin Phase 1 of our economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Here’s what that practically means for Florida residents:
Major changes include health care and restaurants. Elective surgeries will be able to resume, and restaurants can once again offer indoor and outdoor seating. They just need to maintain social distancing guidelines. Many retail establishments are already open and operating at a reduced capacity – though we could see “non-essential” retail stores, such as clothing and accessory boutiques re-open with these new guidelines.
Governor DeSantis specifically stated that movie theaters, gyms, and hair salons will not be able to open with the beginning of Phase 1. However, he will continue to monitor the situation and the actions of other states. He may amend this as we go forward.
To move on to Phase 2 of recovery, we need to see a continuing downward trend for positive test rates and maintain Florida’s hospital bed availability. The Governor said that he didn’t want to set a firm timeline, but that he would be in constant communication with other officials to evaluate the situation. However, DeSantis did reassure Floridians, “We’re thinking about weeks. We’re not thinking about months.”
While it doesn’t appear that our favorite theme parks and attractions will be opening any time soon, this is an exciting step on the road to recovery. Technically, Disney Springs and Universal’s CityWalk could open under these new guidelines. We’ll just have to wait to see what each attraction announces as we move forward.