What to expect from the next step in DeSantis’ plan to reopen Florida

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Citing signs of progress in Florida’s effort to head off the spread of coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday unveiled the next part of his plan to reopen the state as it recovers from the financial fallout of the pandemic.

The state kicked off its phased-in approach May 4 by allowing restaurants, stores and malls — which had been shuttered for weeks — to open up on a limited basis. That trend continued this week when the governor gave barber shops and hair stylists the go-ahead to resume doing business. The latest step expands on those plans and allows some other industries to get back up and running.

Perhaps the most noticeable difference is that gyms can reopen starting on Monday after spending weeks closed due to concern about the potential spread of novel coronavirus. Another change? DeSantis welcomed the return of professional sports.

Wondering what else is happening? Below is a list of the changes we’ve compiled:


Indoor seating at restaurants is going up to 50-percent capacity, an increase from 25-percent capacity. Outdoor seating is allowed so long as there is a safe social distance between tables. Bars are closed.

Retail stores

As with restaurants, retail businesses and storefronts are increasing to 50-percent capacity. Under the initial phase of Florida’s reopening plan, these stores were allowed to operate at 25-percent capacity.

Libraries & museums

Gov. DeSantis gave his blessing for libraries and museums to reopen at 50-percent capacity, but he left the door open for local officials to decide when to reopen. Duval County’s libraries won’t reopen Monday.


Gyms can reopen at 50-percent capacity, but the governor urged people to practice social distancing and sanitize surfaces when they’re done. “Clean the dip bar when you’re done doing dips,” DeSantis said.

Professional sports

Sports teams can resume training at their venues and the governor welcomed out-of-state teams to come to Florida as well. He said in-state teams will be allowed to play when their respective seasons begin.

Theme parks

Amusement parks can submit their reopening plans to the state, but they need to specify when they can safely resume operations and how they’re going to protect visitors and employees. Local permission is required.

Florida’s Full Phase 1 begins Monday, May 18. All 67 counties may now begin re-opening as we continue to implement our #SafeSmartStepbyStep Plan for Florida’s Recovery.

Posted by Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday, May 15, 2020