This evening, Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference to discuss the reopening plans for the state of Florida. Yesterday, the Orange County Economic Recovery Florida Task Force released guidelines that businesses would have to follow as they begin to reopen and now we have a timeline that we can look to.

At this time, Florida is expected to start Phase 1 on Monday, May 4. The only portion of the state that will not follow this timeline is South Florida but Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach are expected to reopen on a later date.

Phase One (May 4)

  • Schools remain distance learning
  • Visits to senior living facilities prohibited
  • Elective surgeries can resume
  • Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with six-foot space between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity
  • Retail can operate at 25% of indoor capacity
  • No change for bars, gyms, and personal services such as hairdressers

In order for the state to move to phase two, they want to see the state monitoring test rates and maintain hospital bed capacity. As DeSantis said in the press conference, this step does not need to take months. As long as they see trends follow in a positive direction, they will analyze the data and move forward.

This morning, the Orange County Economic Recovery Florida Task Force said on a call that they wanted Walt Disney World and Universal Studios to make the decisions to reopen on their own. On the call, Chuck Whittall, President of Unicorp, said that the timeline for reopening these theme parks should be left to those in charge of these entertainment giants. He noted that these companies need time to prepare the changes that are to come.

When Walt Disney World announces its timeline, we will be here to relay their reopening plans to you! Until then, we hope you are all staying safe and healthy while things begin to reopen.