Home Travel Florida Is Re-Opening! (And Updated Disney Info!)

Florida Is Re-Opening! (And Updated Disney Info!)

by SharonKurheg

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced today that, with the exception of a handful of counties in the southeast portion of the state, the state of Florida will begin its reopening process effective Monday, May 4th.

The state had been under a “Stay At Home” mandate since April 3, at which time Florida residents were told to stay home and “limit movements and personal interactions outside the home” to essential services or activities. This would hopefully help to limit the number of cases of cornoavirus in the state and “flatten the curve.”

The Governor says that most of state will now begin to take “small, deliberate steps” towards reopening, using a “slow, methodical and data driven approach.” Effective May 4th, the state will be in Phase 1 of reopening. That will include:

  • Elective surgeries (inpatient and outpatient) can resume
  • Restaurants will be allowed outdoor seating, providing tables are placed at least 6′ apart
  • Restaurants will also be allowed indoor seating at 25% capacity, providing tables are placed at least 6′ apart
  • Retail stores can be open and allow 25% indoor capacity, with limitations for proper social distancing
  • Schools will remain closed until the end of the school year (distance learning will continue)
  • Gyms, bars and personal services must remain closed at this time
  • Visits to nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and similar places that house primarily senior citizens will remain forbidden

The order will be posted on the Florida government’s website in short order.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties still have ongoing high numbers of coronavirus cases at this time and they will begin their own respective reopening processes at some time in the (hopefully near) future.

Governor DeSantis suggests Florida will reopen in 3 phases. Phase 1 will begin on May 4th. He’s not giving a firm timeline for Phase 2 and will use the data of continued testing and numbers of new positive cases to determine when to begin Phase 2. He did suggest hopes that Phase 2 could begin in “weeks, not months.”

When the Stay at Home mandate went into effect on April 3, Florida had just shy 7,000 diagnosed. Since then, Florida has averaged between about 700 and 1,200 new cases per day, for a total of roughly 26,000 more diagnosed. However when the mandate went into effect, we were experiencing a definitive daily upward trend of cases and it now goes up or down (albeit more down than up), depending on the day. Hopefully cases will start to go down on a consistent basis. We’ll see what happens.

OK, that’s nice…but what about the theme parks???

Obviously, in light of the above, they’re not opening yet. 😉

Governor DeSantis established a Re-Open Florida Task Force in April to lay the groundwork for how to open the state, including the large and small theme parks, for business. Members of the Executive Committee include upper level management from both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.

On April 28, the Executive Committee’s Orange County subcommittee had a task force meeting to outline how businesses related to tourism could eventually reopen. The outlines for each included different phases for reopening, and guidelines and mandates in terms of what businesses would do (recommended and mandated) during each phase.

Click here to see the video of the meeting (it’s an hour and a half long. Might want to just look at the lists below. Just sayin’).

Large Theme Parks (Disney, Universal, SeaWorld)

  • Guidelines:
    • Tape marking of 6 feet apart in ride/attraction queues
    • Staff to regularly wipe down surfaces at random
    • Phase 1 & 2: Staff who are 65+ are encouraged to stay home
  • Mandates:
    • All employees required to wear face masks
    • Touchless hand sanitizer at each ticketing entry and turnstiles
    • Touchless hand sanitizer at each ride/attraction entry and exit
    • Temperature checks for staff prior to shift (if you have a temperature above 100.4, you can’t enter the premises)
    • Wipe down all railing and surfaces regularly
    • Phase 1: 50% capacity
    • Phase 2: 75% capacity

Small Theme Parks (Funspot, Gatorland)

  • Guidelines:
    • Tape marking of 6 feet apart in ride/attraction queues
    • Staff to regularly wipe down surfaces at random
    • Phase 1 & 2: Staff who are 65+ are encouraged to stay home
  • Mandates:
    • All employees required to wear facemasks
    • Touchless hand sanitizer at each ticketing entry and turnstiles
    • Touchless hand sanitizer at each ride/attraction entry and exit
    • Temperature checks for staff prior to shift (if you have a temperature above 100.4, you can’t enter the premises)
    • Wipe down of all railing and surfaces regularly
    • Phase 1: 50% capacity
    • Phase 2: 75% capacity

Hotels

  • Guidelines:
    • Phase 1: Housekeeping services to be limited and allow for minimal guest and employee exposure
    • Phase 1: Promote, if available, mobile check-in
    • Phase 1: Housekeeping services only clean upon request, or when guests depart
    • Phase 1: Allow employees to work from home if not playing a critical role in serving guests
    • Phase 1: Only deliver room service to the guest’s door
    • Phase 1: Provide self-parking
    • Promote social distancing for all guests and staff
    • Recommended touchless sanitizer at entry
    • Increase cleaning services/additional sanitation services through cleaning companies
    • Phase 1 & 2: Staff who are 65+ are encouraged to stay home
  • Mandates:
    • All employees required to wear face masks
    • Hand sanitizer at the entry to be in plain visible sight
    • Temperature checks for staff prior to shift (if you have a temperature above 100.4, you can’t enter the premises)
    • All employees with flu-like symptoms advised to stay home
    • Front desk to sanitize themselves on a regular basis
    • Consistent cleaning of all guest areas
    • Front desk to utilize sneeze-guards
    • Remove all service items in guest rooms, including glassware, coffee cups, etc.
    • Minibars not to be stocked
    • Do no offer self food services
    • Space pool furniture according to distancing guidelines
    • Pool gates and pool chairs to be sanitized regularly
    • Door handles, elevator button and railing to be sanitized regularly
    • Remove all coffee makers from guest rooms
    • Remove all guest collateral items, except for those that are single-use
    • Sanitize guest keys before and after each use
    • Sanitize bell carts after each use
    • Phase 1 & 2: No conferences

Restaurants

  • Guidelines:
    • Paper/disposable menus
    • Encourage takeout/online orders
    • Touchless sanitizer at entry
    • Phase 1 & 2: Staff who are 65+ are encouraged to stay home
  • Mandates:
    • Hand sanitizer at every table
    • Hand sanitizer at entry to be in plain visible sight
    • All employees required to wear face masks
    • Temperature checks for staff prior to shift (if you have a temperature above 100.4, you can’t enter the premises)
    • All employees with flu-like symptoms are advised to stay home
    • Doors to be wiped regularly
    • All staff behind counters must wear gloves (except for bartenders)
    • Bartenders to sanitize hands after making each drink order
    • Seated tables to be six feet apart
    • Phase 1: Limit restaurant and bar capacity to 50%
    • Phase 2: Limit restaurant and bar capacity to 75%

The guidelines and mandates are only initial suggestions and don’t include any extra measures that theme parks/hotels/restaurants would want to take on their own.

There was no discussion about specific re-opening dates in the April 28th meeting, nor, as of this writing, are any opening dates posted on any theme parks’ websites. Universal’s website currently says they are, “temporarily closed at least through May 31.” Walt Disney World’s website currently says that, “Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney Resorts and the Disney Springs area are currently closed and a reopening date has not been identified. For guests who are interested in modifying their existing travel dates or making a new reservation for a future vacation, reservations are currently available for travel dates June 1 and later. Guests are able to modify these bookings if Walt Disney World Resort opens before or after that time.”

The suggested guidelines and mandates will next be sent to the Governor and the Executive Committee.

#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

 

3 comments

Bill Pullman April 29, 2020 - 8:22 pm

This kind of article is unconscionable in this time of danger of COVID-19.

Shame on you.

Reply
SharonKurheg May 21, 2020 - 12:54 pm

Sorry hon – all I did was report what our idiot governor announced. Doesn’t mean I agree with it. I’m still here in Central Florida, going out to the supermarket once every 2 weeks and, when I have them, doctor’s appointments.

Don’t shoot the messenger – I’m on your side.

Reply
Palm Beach Hotels Florida Is Re-Opening! (And Updated Disney Info!) – Palm Beach Island May 21, 2020 - 8:44 am

[…] Palm Beach Hotels Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced today that, with the exception of a handful of counties in the southeast portion of the state, the state of Florida will begin its reopening… The post Florida Is Re-Opening! (And Updated Disney Info!) appeared first on …Read More […]

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