Gov Ron DeSantis declares phase two reopening: bars, casinos, movie theaters open Friday

Gov. Ron DeSantisannounced Phase Two reopening in Florida amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reopening movie theaters, bars and casinos with limited capacity. There will still be 50% occupancy limits at those locales, he said.

“Those have not been operating up to this point,” DeSantis said. “They now have a pathway to do that. and if you do the dispensing and sanitation, like some other states have done.”

At a press conference at Universal Studios in Orlando, DeSantis said most of Florida is ready to enter a second reopening phase amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The next step will be in place for 64 counties, excluding Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“We want to not have huge crowds piling in,” DeSantis said.

Bars and pubs will only be allowed to serve seated guests and social distancing should still be accommodated. Restaurants can now seat guests at bar tops.

Other newly opening businesses include tattoo parlors, acupuncture businesses, tanning salons and massage parlors, all of which must abide by Department of Health guidance.

A 50% cap remains on theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades.

Universal Studios held a soft opening Wednesday. Employees were allowed to come into the park beginning Monday and invited guests could come Wednesday. The park will be opened to the public as of Friday, with limited park capacity, mask requirements and other measures in place.

“Thousands and thousands of employees have been put back to work and that wouldn’t be the case without your leadership,” Universal Parks & Resorts CEO Tom Williams said.

DeSantis said theme parks have put procedures like temperature checks in place that should be used by businesses as they move forward.

He said he will sign an order authorizing Phase 2 on Wednesday for the 64 counties outside South Florida and implement Phase 2 as of Friday.

For more details, check out  Guidelines for Phase Two.

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