JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday said the state will move into what he called a "full phase one" next week as Florida tries to bounce back from the COVID-19 outbreak.
What You Need To Know
- CORONAVIRUS LIVE UPDATES: In the Central Florida area | In the Tampa Bay area
- COVID-19 IMPACTS ON: Airports, Transportation Systems | Sports Events and Teams | Attractions | School Districts and Universities | Retailers, Restaurants Adjust Hours
- FREE CHARTER WIFI: Charter Communications to Offer Free Broadband, WiFi Access to Families with Elementary, College Students
- COMPLETE COVERAGE: Spectrum News | CDC | Florida Department of Health
Gyms, which were excluded from the partial reopening that started May 4, can reopen starting Monday. | Read the full plan from the Governor's Office here.
Restaurants, which had been allowed to serve people at 25 percent capacity, can now operate at 50 percent capacity.
But movie theaters will remain closed, despite White House recommendations that it would be OK to reopen them.
"Some of the things we could've done but didn't initially, we're now adding, and I think this is appropriate given the progress that Florida's made," DeSantis said.
As for bars, nightclubs and pubs, they should consider a reservations-only business model or call-ahead seating to manage spacing in the business. Bar areas should remain closed.
DeSantis argued Friday the state’s approach to the disease was working, and it was time to continue reopening. The governor has long maintained that Floridians need recreation to stave off fear and depression during the long months of coronavirus-induced economic shutdowns.
The state has reported more 43,000 cases, and 1,875 deaths related to the virus, as of Friday morning.
MORE "FULL PHASE ONE" DETAILS
-Restaurants 50% capacity with spacing or with partition
-Retail 50% capacity
-Museums & Libraries 50% capacity
-Gyms & Fitness can operate with social distancing & sanitizing
-Amusement Parks can submit reopening plans to State with estimated date to reopen, plans of protection for staff and crowds
-Not movie theaters at this time although the presidential guidance allows, drive-thru OK
-More testing at long-term care facilities
GYMS ADAPTING TO CDC GUIDELINES AS THEY REOPEN
After two months of waiting, John Sanguinetti can now reopen his popular Powerhouse Gym and Athletic Club in Tampa.
"It's something that we all really kind of need. Not just us as business owners, but the public," Sanguinetti said.
Members will notice an immediate change when they return to the gym.
Some cardio equipment like treadmills and stair masters will be unavailable, to create space between users. Racks and free weights will be placed six feet apart, as well as benches and dumbbell areas. And the sauna is off limits.
Signs will be on display reminding members of this and so will staffer.
"We'll have monitors walking around the facilities from when we open to when we close, helping, guiding, and assisting all of our members," Sanguinetti said.
Powerhouse has about 4,000 members and Sanguinetti said he heard from most of them wanting to know when the gym will reopen.
"As us owners and business operators, we need to kind of make the adjustments, and we have," he said.
Sign up now for one of our newsletters that will show up in your inbox every weekday at 1 p.m. The newsletters highlight the most important stories of the day that you need to know for your area.