Most of Florida to Reopen Under Phase 2 on June 5

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Phase 2 of Florida’s economic re-opening while speaking at a press conference Wednesday, June 3, at Universal CityWalk in Orlando. Screenshot via Ron DeSantis/Facebook

Governor Ron DeSantis said Wednesday, June 3 that 64 of Florida’s 67 counties can re-open bars and movie theaters on Friday, June 5 while retail stores can go to full capacity as he moved most of the state into the second phase of an economic reopening. The order is part of DeSantis’ “SAFE. SMART. STEP-BY-STEP” reopening plan.

Bars and pubs may work at 50 percent capacity indoors and at full capacity outdoors.  Tattoo parlors may reopen, and individuals can start assembling in gatherings of 50 or less. Entertainment venues such as movie theatres and bowling alleys may reopen at 50 percent capacity starting on Friday as well. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are excluded from this order. Officials in these counties must submit a written request to enter into Phase 2, according to Governor DeSantis.

Miami-Dade County gyms may reopen on Monday, June 8.

At a press conference held in Orlando on Wednesday Governor DeSantis discussed topics ranging from coronavirus testing to the nursing home closures. DeSantis also mentioned planned immune response testing, amusement parks, hospitalizations and the Florida college framework hoping for a June 23 reopening.

DeSantis also announced on Tuesday that he had signed an executive order extending the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until July 1. The original executive order to extend evictions and foreclosures was set to expire that same day on June 1. 

DeSantis took to Twitter to thank law enforcement throughout the state for their hard work and professionalism while dealing with the George Floyd protests. DeSantis reported that in the last 24 hours there had been no attempt on the life of any police officer or civilians.

“Florida won’t tolerate rioting, looting or violence,” DeSantis said at the press conference. DeSantis also announced 500 National Guard troops have been mobilized to assist D.C. law enforcement during protests.

Florida Governor Ron Desantis’ tweet. Photo:

DeSantis also said he’d welcome the Republican National Convention possibly being held in Florida depending on how far the coronavirus pandemic has evolved at that time. 

Regarding nursing homes and places like assisted living facilities, DeSantis said people 65 and older or with underlying conditions are still encouraged to avoid crowds. The governor also encouraged COVID-19 testing at these facilities for both patients and employees.