ORLANDO, Fla. – As most of the state enters phase one of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan, many leaders on the local level are advocating for their communities, asking the governor for more relaxed allowances so their residents can get back to work.
On Wednesday, DeSantis announced phase one of his reopening plan, which would allow many businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic to reopen at a 25% capacity. However, the plan excludes many businesses that were hit hard by the economic shutdown, including hair salons, barbers and gyms.
Joining the ranks of many other local leaders, including those in Marion County, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer plans to address the governor in a news conference Monday to propose several changes to the city code to further assist local businesses and their ability to operate under DeSantis’ new guidelines.
City officials said several of the changes to be announced by Dyer will go into effect immediately and will allow for additional operational and marketing opportunities for business establishments as the local economy and small businesses recover.
The governor said Florida would reopen in three phases in concordance with the guidelines released by the White House under President Donald Trump’s reopening America plan.
Here’s what changes -- and doesn’t change -- for Florida beginning Monday:
- Schools continue distance learning
- Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited
- Elective surgeries can resume
- Sports arenas and movie theaters will remain closed
- Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with six feet of space between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity
- Retail stores can operate at 25% of indoor capacity
- No changes for bars, gyms and personal services such as hairdressers and barbers
- Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home
DeSantis said the start of phases two and three will highly depend on how well the first stage goes.
“Each phase, we’re thinking about weeks, not thinking about months,” DeSantis said.
State officials will continue to monitor health care resources, including hospital bed capacity and personal protection equipment supplies.