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DeSantis Unveils "Baby Steps" To Reopen Florida


Governor Ron DeSantis said he will begin reopening the state Monday starting with restaurants and retail stores at reduced capacity.

The Governor says Phase one of his plan includes opening restaurants and retail stores at 25 percent capacity but only if the local government allows it. There's no restriction for outside seating at restaurants as long as tables are 6 feet apart.

Bars, gyms and services like hair salons remain shut down. DeSantis said churches were never closed, but he's urging groups to voluntarily social distance.

"We're going to be safe, smart, and we're going to do this step by step. We are trying to build a foundation for the future of the state of Florida,” he said Wednesday.

The plan is more cautious than the White House outlined and more restrictive than other states like Georgia which unveiled reopening plans.

"I deliberately erred on the side of taking measured steps -- kind of even a baby step to return," said DeSantis. "Not to normal, but to start us on the road to a brighter day. I think that's the right approach."

Under phase one, there will continue to be no visitors to long term care facilities. The Governor said the state will revisit that decision once a rapid test is readily available.

The state will continue to increase testing overall and monitor data before moving to phase two.

Because of a high number of cases, Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties will not start phase one Monday.



Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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