The state of Florida has just started making baby steps towards opening up businesses and leaving quarantine with phase one now in effect. Of course, it is still best to avoid unnecessary risks, but Floridians and those coming to the Sunshine State are looking forward to the day when things will be relatively normal. Governor DeSantis has been unwilling to offer a date in the future for phase two, but he says he is thinking about it as weeks and not months in the distance.
The second phase
The governor’s plan currently has three phases. Phase two will take place once phase one is completed to the governor’s satisfaction. Significant issues of concern include:
- The vulnerable: Those over age 65 or with preexisting conditions are at the highest risk, and should remain at home and be cautious. When they do leave home, they should maintain at least six feet of distance from others.
- Gatherings: The cap moves from 10 to 50 in the second phase. People should still exercise social distancing, particularly in an enclosed environment.
- Travel: Non-essential travel should be avoided, either for personal or work purposes.
- Work from home: This should continue when possible, and those who return should undergo health screenings and temperature checks.
What about meeting friends for a drink?
This is a major issue for many, particularly those in the hospitality industry. Changes include:
- Bars, pubs and nightclubs will be able to open at 50% capacity if there are reduced standing room and increased use of an outdoor seating area.
- Tables or groupings will be placed six-feet apart and the groups should be no larger than ten people.
- Staff should try to deliver drinks to tables rather than patrons going to the bar for service.
- Surfaces and menus should be cleaned regularly. Menus may also be disposable/recyclable.
There are many questions still to be answered
Those bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants not already open may wish to speak with an attorney that handles liquor licensing issues here in Florida. The rules will vary by municipality, so it is best to consult local officials and speak with an attorney about safety and the enforcement of these rules.