During Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ press conference Wednesday afternoon, June 3, Florida was approved to move forward with Phase 2 of it’s reopening. The changes will go in effect Friday, June 5.
“The biggest difference between our phase one and phase two is the bars,” explained DeSantis. “Restaurants can seat at the bars now. Bars and pubs can operate at 50 percent capacity inside, full capacity outside, but it’s going to have to be seated service. I think that makes a lot of sense as we inch into phase two.”
Phase 2 reopening also includes 50 percent indoor capacity for movie theaters, concert halls, bowling alleys and arcades, with “appropriate social distancing between groups” and “appropriate sanitation.” These establishments are also able to open full outdoor seating capacity.
Tanning and massage parlors, as well as acupuncture and tattoo shops can reopen in adherence to Florida Department of Health guidance.
Shops and other retail stores are allowed to be fully open, but with “responsible social distancing and sanitization protocols.”
“I’m glad that people will have the opportunity to return to work and start making a living again, assuming they have jobs to which they can return,” wrote Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson in a response to Gabber staff. “But my concern is that the reopening process is giving people the impression that this virus is somehow less of a risk. I sincerely hope we don’t see the numbers of new cases or COVID-related deaths rise as a result of increasing social contact.”
Governor DeSantis continued to stress the importance of social distancing and adherence to enhanced sanitization methods throughout his press conference and showed great concern for senior citizens.
“I want to continue to stress that people 65 years or older and people with underlying medical conditions are strongly encouraged to avoid crowds and take measures to limit exposure to COVID-19,” remarked Desantis.
“You give me 1,000 infections for people under 30, the clinical consequences for that is likely to be much less severe [than] if we had 100 infections ages 75 and above and so it’s really important to avoid crowds and limit the chances of exposure.”
The City of Gulfport has a COVID-19 resource page here, which also links to the CDC, the Florida Department of Health and Pinellas County’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. Residents can also call 727-893-1000 for more information.
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