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Gov. Ron DeSantis says most of Florida can begin first phase of reopening May 4

Disney fans anxiously await news from Disney World regarding the reopening of Disney parks. Today, May 4th marks the first step towards that eventuality. While parks are not open as yet, Florida governor announced that the first stage of reopening Florida begins this first Monday of May with limited re-openings of businesses, Depending on how well this goes, stage 2 will then be put into effect which will eventually lead to the reopening of Disney’s Florida resort. Read on for more detailed information on stage 1 and what that entails: Copy from

Governor adopts step-by-step approach to reopening

Gov. Ron DeSantis says most of Florida can begin first phase of reopening May 4
Gov. Ron DeSantis says most of Florida can begin first phase of reopening May 4

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that most of Florida will enter what he called “phase one” of the reopening process on May 4 as the state continues to fight the spread of coronavirus.


Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties will not open on this date due to a higher incidence of COVID-19 infections in the area, DeSantis said.

“These counties have seen the lion’s share of the state’s epidemic, but they are trending in a positive direction,” DeSantis said, adding he believes those counties could move to phase one “very soon.”

The governor said Florida would reopen in three phases in-line with the guidelines released by the White House under President Trump’s reopening America plan.

Here’s what changes and doesn’t change for Florida on May 4:

  • Schools continue distance learning
  • Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited
  • Elective surgeries can resume
  • Sports arenas and movie theaters will remain closed
  • Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with six feet of space between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity
  • Retail stores can operate at 25% of indoor capacity
  • No changes for bars, gyms and personal services such as hair dressers and barbers
  • Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home

Phase one maintains current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including vulnerable individuals continuing social distancing while in public, avoiding groups of 10 or more and using face masks in public when you can’t maintain six feet away from others.

“Our plan from the beginning to fight COVID-19 is going to continue. Nothing’s going to change about that. We are going to continue to protect the vulnerable,” DeSantis said. “We are going to continue to increase testing … we’ll continue to promote various forms of social distancing.”

The governor said when phase two and phase three begin will depend on how well the first stage goes.

“Each phase we’re thinking about weeks, not thinking about months,” DeSantis said.

State officials will continue to monitor health care resources including hospital bed capacity and personal protection equipment supplies.

“We also need to make sure our health care system is ready, make sure we have adequate resources and beds and the staff is protected,” DeSantis said.

The governor said he could see fans attend major sporting events in Florida by June or July. Churches were never ordered to close under the governor’s executive order and will remain open.

During his presentation, DeSantis did not address when Floridians could expect to see theme parks or major attractions reopen or speak to Florida’s troubled unemployment system. The governor took a few questions from reporters before leaving the room.

“We obviously need an economic recovery,” the governor said, touching briefly on the financial fallout.

At the time of the governor’s announcement Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health reported a total of 33,193 cases of coronavirus, with more than 1,218 fatalities as a result of the disease.

Thank you to the physicians and medical personnel at @OrlandoHealth for your guidance as we work on my Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery.1,5601:30 PM – Apr 29, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy621 people are talking about this

Just hours before the governor’s announcement, Lake County reported one of the only first responders in Central Florida to have died from COVID-19. Clermont Police officer Conrad Buckley died early Tuesday as a result of the respiratory illness.

The first case of COVID-19 was reported in Florida on March 1.

DeSantis met with President Donald Trump Tuesday where reopening plans were briefly discussed, but specifics for the plan were not given. Every governor in all 50 states would need to adhere to a set of guidelines put in place by the president when tailoring reopening measures to their respective state.

Under Trump’s reopening America plan, phase one would include allowing restaurants, churches and even sporting venues to operate as long as they adhere to strict social distancing guidelines. Phase two would see the opening of schools and some loosening of restrictions. Phase three is what many have dubbed “the new normal” and would mean most establishments would be operating at full swing again while keeping in line with limited protocols.

DeSantis placed Florida under a mandatory stay-at-home on April 1, becoming one of the last few governors in the U.S. to issue the order amid the coronavirus pandemic. That order became enforceable at 12:01 a.m. on April 3 and was set to end April 30.

Under DeSantis’ order, businesses that provided daily necessities, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, pet supply stores, laundromats, hardware stores and others, were allowed to remain open.

Food-related businesses were directed to close their dining rooms, and were only allowed to deliver food and provide pickup orders.

Bars and nightclubs remained closed. All major theme parks, including Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and Legoland previously announced they would remain closed.

Many Florida counties closed public beaches to deter crowds and prevent large social gatherings. Flagler County beaches closed March 22 after a local order, but reopened all beaches with the requirement of social-distancing on Wednesday.

DeSantis activated the Florida National Guard in March to help with the state’s coronavirus response, including operating large-scale testing sites.

The order was additionally enforced by state and local law enforcement.

About Becky

Becky is a full time wife, mother and graphic designer. She loves all-things Disney and loves sharing her advice and experiences on