Restaurants, retailers reopen around Central Florida amid pandemic

ORLANDO, Fla. — For the first time in almost two months, some businesses can welcome customers inside as Florida starts to reopen.

It’s all part of phase one of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ three-phase reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Retail stores and restaurants can reopen Monday, but have to stay below 25 percent capacity inside and maintain social distancing.

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Restaurants are still encouraging take-out orders.

The tables at Shakers American Café are alternately marked to keep customers far apart and to keep them safe and comfortable.

“Restaurant’s been here 27 years (and) been doing this for a long time, but we’ve been closed for six weeks and I feel like were opening for the very first time so i’m excited and nervous at the same time,” said Shakers owner Greg Granda before opening its doors early Monday.

Hospitals can also start elective procedures during the phase one reopening plan.

All of the reopenings rely on social distancing to remain open as state officials continuing to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis returned to Central Florida on Sunday to talk about what he wants to see soon as businesses along Daytona Beach’s boardwalk looked forward to unlocking their doors and taking down closed signs.

“We are continuing to stress the need for testing and building a really strong infrastructure,” said DeSantis. “I think that’s why being safe, smart and step by step is the appropriate way.”

Steve Barrett

Steve Barrett, WFTV.com

Reporter Steve Barrett returned to WFTV in mid-2017 after 18 months in the Twin Cities, where he worked as Vice President of Communications for an Artificial Intelligence software firm aligned with IBM.

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