Florida Reopening Update: May 18 Executive Order

Advocacy News,

Effective Monday, May 18 at 12:01 AM: Executive Order 20-123

The Governor’s order moves the state into a “Full Phase 1” by expanding the list of businesses that may open to include gyms and professional sports venues, under certain conditions.  It also provides pathways for future opening of large-scale amusement parks and vacation rentals.  Finally, it allows business, opened by prior orders, such as restaurants and retail, to increase indoor capacity as part of the Phase 1 activity.  


Restaurants, Retail, Museums, and Gyms: Restaurants and food establishments may serve patrons indoor at 50% capacity with a required 6’ minimum between parties, which can be modified if an appropriate partition is in place. Outdoor seating remains available with appropriate social distancing.  Bar counters remain closed to seating.

In-Store Retail Sales Establishments: In store retail sales establishments may operate up to 50% of their building occupancy and abide by the safety guidelines issued by the CDC and OSHA.

Museums and Libraries: Museums and libraries may operate up to 50% of their building capacity, however that local public museums and local public libraries may operate only if permitted by local government.

Gyms and Fitness Centers: Gyms and Fitness Centers may operate up to 50% of their building capacity so long as they adopt safety measures including social distancing, cleaning requirements, and other requirements outlined in this order.

Professional Sports Venues: Professional sports venues may operate, and include training, events and games.  It is important to note that this order specifically states this provision preempts any local rule prohibiting a professional sports team conducting, or the operations of the venue from hosting, those sports activities at facilities in the state.

Amusement Parks: Amusement parks may submit a re-opening plan to the State of Florida that includes a proposed date for resumption of operations and proposed guidelines to ensure guests and staff safety.  Requests to re-open must include an endorsement letter from the County Mayor or in absence of a county mayor, from the City Mayor and County Administrator. This request shall identify a future date certain for re-opening and verify that the official has approved a re-open plan to ensure patron and staff safety.

Vacation Rentals: Counties may seek approval to operate vacation rentals with a written request from the County Administrator and the county’s safety plan for VR operations submitted to the DBPR Secretary. DBPR will post and update guidance on its website.

Local Government Public Meetings Order Extended: The Executive Order 20-69 is extended for the duration of this order. This enables local governments to hold virtual meetings.

Enforcement: Violation of this order is a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 60 days, a fine not to exceed $500, or both.