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Written By NaviPay Blog Contributor:
Suzanne Davis
Coastal Business Evolution, LLC

On June 5th, most of Florida entered Phase Two of the reopening plan, one month after Phase One which began on May 4th. Due to high numbers of positive Covid 19 tests, Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties were not allowed to enter Phase Two yet, just as they weren’t initially invited to the party for Phase One. The Governor promises to “work with these three counties as we move forward”.

In Phase One mainly involved allowing restaurants and retail to open at limited capacity. In what could be described as Phase One “EXTRA”, we saw some additional services also allowed to open at limited capacities—such as gyms, salons, barbershops—all of which were initially proposed to be opening only once we reached Phase Two. Phase Two in a nutshell means much more freedom for us to move about—and for businesses to operate at higher capacities, with additional businesses being added to the mix.

As with Phase One, the caution still is that those 65 or older and those with underlying conditions who are most at risk of contracting COVID-19 should stay at home as much as possible. When venturing out, at risk populations should continue to maintain social distancing, wear a mask, and take care to avoid large crowds.

Now for the Freedom part—here is what has changed:

Restaurants

Originally, we thought Phase Two would bring capacity from 50% to 75%. That is not the case, they are still at 50% with 6 feet of space between parties and it remains that parties should be limited to no more than 10 people. So, where’s the good news? Bars! Restaurants in Phase Two can now seat patrons in their bars! Good news for the Happy Hour patrons indeed. There is, however, mounting pressure for the Governor to approve 75% capacity.

Bars, Nightclubs, Pubs

In Phase One that alcohol only good time venues were closed uptight! In Phase Two all of these great establishments can operate at 50% capacity limiting standing room whenever possible and outdoor service is strongly encouraged. The 6 feet of distance on tables and parties of 10 or less applies here too.

Gyms and Fitness Centers

As mentioned above, these establishments were supposed to stay closed in Phase One, but shortly after the phase began, they were allowed to open at 50% capacity. Phase Two allows for full capacity as long as patrons can be separated by 6 feet and strict cleaning and sanitation protocols are in place.

Nail Salons, Hair Salons, Barber Shops

Again originally slated only for Phase Two, were allowed to open at 25% capacity in Phase One. Capacity increases to 50% in Phase Two.

Schools, Youth Activities and Summer Camps

Allowed to operate with a reduced class or group sizes with some restrictions on interactions with specific CDC Guidelines that need to be followed.

Sporting Events and Theme Parks

Arenas and sporting events are limited to 50% capacity and must have a social distancing protocol. Theme parks must also have reduced capacity-but the percentage has not been clarified and social distancing practices must be in place.

Beaches and State Parks

You can now beach-it with no further guidelines in place. Parks can open to full capacity during the day, but overnight accommodations and pavilions will remain closed.

Vacation Rentals

Rentals have been allowed on a by county basis, but most are requiring that anyone visiting internationally or traveling from a COVID 19 hot spot must rend for at least two days. In addition, the room must be vacant for 72 hours between guests so that units can be meticulously cleaned and sanitized.

Travel

Nonessential travel is now allowed, but employers are being encouraged to limit it as well as to continue telework wherever possible.

Social Gatherings

Social distancing should still be practiced especially indoors, but gatherings can now go from 10 to 50 people in Phase Two.

Phase Two freedoms are welcomed by the business community while COVID 19 cases seem to be increasing. This increase is expected as people begin to interact, it is also a result of much greater access to testing. The best advice for a successful Phase Two and a transition to Phase Three? Continue to social distance whenever possible, where a mask when you cannot, wash your hands and then wash them some more, and keep you paws off your jaws as well as the rest of your face.

Be healthy! Be safe! Go enjoy a drink at your local bar!

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