DeSantis announces Florida will start opening businesses Monday with restrictions


Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that beginning Monday, restaurants and stores will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity — kicking off phase one of the state’s reopening plan.

During an afternoon press conference — as the state’s stay-at-home order expires Thursday — DeSantis said the order would exclude Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. But the Republican governor said those counties will be able to enter phase one of the reopening plan “soon.”

All parts of Florida would be allowed to resume elective surgeries, he said.

Both restaurants and retail — which DeSantis said have always been allowed to operate curbside pickup and delivery — will be allowed to bring in customers at a 25 percent capacity, and outdoor dining will be opened so long as tables are spaced six feet apart. Still, the governor called for masks to be used in “face-to-face business.”

DeSantis said the White House coronavirus task force recommended in phase one of the reopening plan restaurants and retail open at a 50 percent capacity, but Florida would err on the side of caution.

DeSantis said that the media had an “unfortunate habit to conflate shelter-in-place with social distancing,” and said that his state could rebuild Florida’s foundations while protecting the most vulnerable. – READ MORE

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