Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida Governor, announced during a news conference in Jacksonville that the state will enter a “Full” Phase 1 reopening on May 18.
This means that restaurant and retail locations can move up from the current 25% capacity limits to 50%. Gyms in the state will also reopen, although they need to practice social distancing and sanitize machines and surfaces after use. The governor said that these changes are appropriate given the progress the state has made.
This change applies to Central Florida but does not yet apply to hard-hit South-East counties of West Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade. These counties entered Phase 1 on May 4.
Bars, movie theaters, and vacation rentals remain closed.
DeSantis noted that the percentage of positive test results has gone down over the past four weeks and that most new cases in Florida have been in prisons or long term care facilities for the elderly.