DeSantis Gives the Go-Ahead On Phase One Reopening of Broward County
On Thursday, DeSantis signed an executive order allowing the partial reopening of Broward and Miami-Dade. Today he announced that gyms and fitness centers can reopen starting Monday.
Yesterday afternoon at a press briefing in Doral with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Broward Mayor Dale Holness, DeSantis said he had signed an executive order allowing both counties to begin phase one of reopening on May 18.
“We understood that we have a responsibility to move forward in a safe, smart and step-by-step approach,” DeSantis said. “Today we take another very important step. We’re going to get our mojo back and get back to where we need to be.”
The governor said the timing for the reopening makes sense because South Florida has “progressed nicely in dealing with the epidemic.”
Broward officials have been concerned that the businesses won’t be profitable with so few customers, so they asked the governor to increase the limit to 50% capacity.
“Twenty-five percent indoor dining is almost not worth opening,” Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Steve Glassman said. “That would be a money loser. That’s not sustainable.”
This afternoon at the Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside Hospital Clinic Building in Jacksonville, DeSantis announced all stores and restaurants in Florida will be allowed to open at 50% capacity. In addition, Floridians can begin returning to their favorite gyms starting Monday.
In another announcement about restarting the economy, DeSantis said amusement parks are welcome to submit detailed plans about reopening with protections for staff and guests.
For now, indoor movie theaters will continue to be closed across the state and beaches in Miami-Dade and Broward county will stay closed until after Memorial Day.
Holness said he and Gimenez have agreed to reopen beaches at the same time, so that people do not all flock to one location.
“It’s going to be a long hard haul to revive the economy to where it was before,” said Holness. His reopening plan is similar to Miami-Dade’s, but there are a few differences, including that homeowner’s associations in Broward will be allowed to reopen their gyms and pools on Monday with some restrictions in place.
Hair salons, restaurants and museums in Broward must limit their number of customers or be fined for their practices, according to the new rules.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said he hopes the Phase 1 reopening will help bring people back to work and reduce any mental stress the stay-at-home orders caused.