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Governor DeSantis’s Executive Order on Phase 1 to Reopen Florida

By: Alissa A. Kranz Posted on: Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

On April 29th, Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order 20-112, which puts “Phase 1” of his “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery” into effect on May 4th.

“Phase 1” reopens certain businesses that were previously deemed nonessential in all counties except Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. Some highlights of the Executive Order include:

  • Senior Women Eating OutdoorsThe continuation of distance learning in schools;
  • The prohibition of visiting senior living facilities;
  • Restaurants may begin dine-in operation, but (i) with outdoor seating and tables; spaced six feet apart, and (ii) with indoor seating at 25% of occupational capacity
  • Brick and mortar establishments may operate at 25% of occupational capacity;
  • Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside of the home;
  • When in public, all individuals should maximize personal distance from others;
  • Socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing should be avoided;
  • Face masks are recommended for those in face-to-fact interactions and where social distancing is not possible; and
  • Museums and libraries may open and operate at 25% of occupational capacity, provided local government allows for it and interactive functions or exhibits remain closed.

Throughout the state, healthcare offices, including surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental offices, orthodontic offices, and endodontic offices, may now fully reopen. Healthcare providers may also offer previously banned elective services, so long as, among other requirements, certain measures are in place resource-wise that allow the provider to immediately convert care beds for treatment of COVID-19 patients in a surge capacity situation.

There are no changes to the previous Stay-At-Home Order for bars, gyms, and personal services.

Those violating the Executive Order may be subject to criminal penalties.

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