Most Of Florida Will Begin Reopening Next Week

​Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled the state's Phase 1 reopening plan, which will take effect Monday.

Most Of Florida Will Begin Reopening Next Week
Chris O'Meara / AP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced plans to reopen most of the state beginning next week.

During a press conference, DeSantis unveiled Florida's Phase 1 reopening plan, which will go into effect Monday. 

"We will get Florida back on its feet by using an approach that is safe, smart and step-by-step," DeSantis said. "Now, these steps will be deliberate; it will not be like turning off a switch. But each step will bring us closer to that light at the end of the tunnel."

Under the new guidelines, restaurants and retailers can reopen, but only at 25% capacity indoors. Outdoor dining will be allowed as long as tables are 6 feet apart. And non-urgent surgeries can resume, as long as facilities have enough protective equipment to handle potential surges in COVID-19 cases.

Movie theaters, gyms and bars will remain closed for now, and schools will continue to hold online classes. Residents are also encouraged to continue practicing social distancing when in public, including wearing masks and avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people when possible.

DeSantis said three counties — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach — are not part of the state's Phase 1 plan "for the time being," since most of Florida's coronavirus cases have occurred in those areas. But the governor said those counties "are trending in a positive direction" and that he's confident "they will be able to move to Phase 1 very soon."