Florida moving into phase 2 of reopening on Friday

Click here to see video from Governor DeSantis Phase 2

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that Florida will be moving into a second phase of reopening that will allow bars to reopen.

The order will be signed today and take effect on Friday, DeSantis said. DeSantis made his announcement at Universal Orlando Resort, which opened to passholders for Wednesday and Thursday, and will open to the public on Friday.Advertisement

The phase two reopening does not include Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

In Florida’s other 64 counties, restaurants can now seat people at a bar, and bars and pubs can open at 50% capacity with social distancing and sanitation.

“You’re seated to get served. People go, enjoy, have a drink, that’s fine, We want to kind of not have huge crowds piling in,” DeSantis said.

Retail establishments may operate at full capacity, movie theaters and bowling alleys can open at 50% capacity.

Florida allowed restaurants and retail shops to open at 25% capacity on May 4 and expanded that later in the month.

Chief National Consumer Correspondent Jeff Rossen put together a guide on the top summer activities to see what’s low risk, medium risk and high risk.

Playing tennis or baseball with others: Low risk

Basketball with others: Medium risk

Rental car: Relatively low risk

Hotel and Rentals room: Low risk in your room

Haircuts: High risk

Universal Orlando theme parks have reopened to the public for the first time since mid March

Passholders for Universal Orlando Resort had a chance to go inside and experience the new safety procedures before it opened to the general public Friday.

Proving passholders have been eager to get back to the parks, cars poured into Universal garages.

Right away, thousands of new directional and social distancing markers can be seen pointing people toward something new.

Before you can get to CityWalk, or the gates to Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios, you’ll have to pass a temperature check. It takes only seconds.

WESH 2’s Greg Fox said it took longer to get through the usual bag check areas that have been used for years.

“The team members here are being nice and helpful and making sure that everyone is keeping their face masks on,” Johnny Childers said.

Childers and his wife Jenny are from Palm Bay. They provided video in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the ride areas, as well as some of the busier walking areas. They say Universal personnel were constantly reminding people of COVID-19 precautions.

“A lot of places are social distancing, labeled and marked, and it’s just a great thing overall and very clean and we feel very safe here,” Jenny Childers said.

“I think we are keeping people safe,” Universal Orlando Resort’s CEO John Sprouls said.

Sprouls said they worked hard to create contactless payments in stores and restaurants to protect visitors and guests.

“We are trying to do the things that we promised which are not only making people feel safe, but more importantly, making them safe,” Sprouls said. “We think, as long as we can do that, we’re putting more people back to work and trying to get our economy in central Florida moving in the right direction.”

On Tuesday, Universal reopened most of its resort hotels.

Temperature checks and masks in common areas are required inside, just as they are for people entering the parks.

Universal opened to the public on Friday.


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