Florida Reopening Update: May 8

Advocacy News, In The Local News,

Following executive action from Governor DeSantis last week the state of Florida has begun its Phase 1 re-opening. 

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties were NOT included in Florida’s Phase 1 re-opening, which was initiated by Governor DeSantis last week and took effect Monday, May 4.

In each of these three counties, the Mayors are continuing to coordinate their efforts, and are working closely with the Governor to determine when they will begin a full Phase 1 re-opening.  A reminder that all three South Florida counties did have some limited re-openings of parks, marinas and pools last week, including, in some instances, those located in apartment complexes. Specific information about what is allowable in these counties, related to those limited openings, can be found on our COVID-19 Resources page. We are continuing to monitor information from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach and will send out updates when restrictions are amended or lifted. 

Meanwhile, the Governor’s office did release the full report of the Governor’s Re-Open Florida Task Force. 


The report includes recommendations regarding Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the state’s reopening, but they are only recommendations. For example, for the Phase 1 re-opening, the Governor adopted some, but not all, of the task force recommendations. Rather, recommendations are considered along with other factors such as health data, metrics and advice from health experts, all of which will be used as the Governor continues to formulate and implement the state’s re-opening plan. Some items of interest from the report are below:

  • Benchmarks for Re-Opening (p. 9) includes information regarding data points identified by the Department of Health that should be considered.
  • General mitigation guidance for individuals and employers (p. 12 and 13)
  • General protocols that are applicable statewide and at every phase of reopening (p. 14 and 15)
  • Phase 1 recommendation included some recommendations that the Governor did not accept, including opening gyms and fitness centers (at limited occupancy), and personal services businesses such as salons (also at limited occupancy and with addtl. guidelines).
  • Phase 2 recommends that in-person local government meetings can resume with quorum and limited attendance, with continued allowance of the use of technology and video conferencing for public participation at local government meetings (p. 24).
  • Phase 2 recommendation for spectator sports to resume at 50% capacity (p. 25).
  • Phase 2 recommends that vacation rentals open for in-state reservations only (p. 25).
  • Ongoing considerations (p. 30):  Here you will find recommendations related to education including that plans be made for schools to resume on-campus learning for the 2020-21 school year and that the Department of  Education develop a plan to phase-in education, safely, during the summer months to provide supplemental education for closing achievement gaps for early learning through K-12 students who may need additional supports due to COVID-19 school closures.
  • Ongoing considerations (p. 30) also discusses plans for Florida’s postsecondary institutions, recommending they should continue to implement distance learning measures to the extent possible and develop a plan for return to on-campus instruction.
  • Ongoing considerations (p. 31) provides recommendations related to hurricane preparedness business disaster planning.


These recommendations may provide some insight into how the continued re-opening will occur.  SEFAA looks forward to providing additional details soon.