Florida Announces ‘Full Phase One’ Reopening Guidelines

May 18, 2020Alerts

Less than two weeks ago, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a limited phase one reopening, with Executive Order 20-112. We wrote about it here.

Now, Gov. DeSantis has issued Executive Order 20-123 which builds on Executive Order 20-112 and sets forth "Full Phase One" of his “Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery.” Full Phase One of this plan, effective Monday, May 18, permits certain Florida businesses to expand their reopening plans and permits other businesses to begin reopening with reduced capacity.

Here’s what you need to know:

First, two of the three most populous counties in Florida ― Broward and Miami/Dade ― remain exempt from Order 20-123, but as of May 18, can now begin to move into the limited phase one reopening set forth in Order 20-112.

Second, the rules for Full Phase One are as follows:

Restaurants and Bars

  • Restaurants may increase indoor capacity to 50% with proper social distancing
  • Outdoor seating encouraged for restaurants
  • Bars and nightclubs will remain closed


  • May increase capacity to 50% if permitted by local government


  • Barber shops, hair and nail salons can reopen, but must follow safety protocols.


  • May operate at up to 50% capacity
  • Fitness machines and surfaces must be self-sanitized after each use

Museums and Libraries

  • May operate at up to 50% capacity if allowed by local government

Amusement Parks

  • Amusement and theme parks are now allowed to submit reopening plans to the state

Professional Sports

  • Professional sports teams are welcome in Florida
  • Professional sports venues may open and operate for games, events and training

Elective Surgeries

  • Elective surgeries may continue if a facility has adequate Personal Protective Equipment and hospital bed surge capacity and works with the local community to prevent and contain outbreaks in long-term care facilities

Schools and Summer Camps

  • Schools will not reopen, but will continue distance learning
  • No decision has been made on summer camps

Vacation Rentals

  • Counties may seek approval to operate vacation rentals by submitting a written request and county vacation rental safety plan to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation


  • In Florida, there is no statewide mask or face covering requirement although certain Florida counties and municipalities do require masks


  • Beaches are generally open throughout Florida (although a few remain closed in South Florida)
  • There are various local restrictions at beaches, including bans on sunbathing, chairs, etc.
  • Many beaches also require social distancing and/or masks and impose limits on the size of groups