Looking ahead: What Phase 2, 3 could look like when reopening

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — While the state gears up for reopening in Phase 1, the Reopen Florida Task Force gave some insight into the next phase, and what that could include.

When it’s clear there isn’t a resurgence of COVID-19 cases during Phase 1, that’s when Phase 2 will roll out.

Phase 2 will include nonessential travel, plans for people to return to work and allow casinos, gyms, hair salons, movie theaters and bowling alleys to go to 75% capacity.

Bars could also reopen with 50% capacity, and restaurants could open at 75% capacity.

All must follow safety and social distancing guidelines.


State documents also show that the Task Force is recommending local government meetings return with no more than 50 people, but still also allow video conferencing.

For the theme parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, they can also consider reopening with capacity limits with strict social distancing in place, and proper measurements to disinfect.

As for Airbnb, the Task Force wants restrictions in that second phase that would only allow host to rent to people from Florida and not international travelers for fear of bringing the coronavirus to the state.

Under Phase 2, Florida beaches could be fully open, and gyms and fitness cleaners could also reopen at 75%, with cleaning and disinfecting surfaces after each use.

Sporting events could also resume with half-capacity.

Click here to read what Phase 1 will look like when it begins Monday.

With a lot less time than they originally thought, nearly 50 people who make up Orange County’s Economic Task Force are working around the clock to provide clear guidelines and mandates for local businesses to open Monday.

Mayor Jerry Demings said he hopes the Task Force will have those finalized by Friday.

“We will have to digest their recommendations and then do something that is sensible for our residents here in Orange County," he said.

As the state order stands, Orange County leaders can implement stricter guidelines than what the governor laid out, but they can’t make anything more lenient.

The Task Force is split up into four work groups: One to create the guidelines that will either be recommended or required to reopen business, and another called “Business Readiness” that will look at what items are needed, such as masks and hand sanitizer, and figure out how to get them.

Read: At least 4 who left New York in late March, early April for Orlando area have died of COVID-19

Another group is called bringing back tourism and the fourth is focused on business compliance and consumer confidence.

“All of the task force members are really wrestling with the issues that no one what no one has ever had to face before in this community. 24 There’s no road map," Demings said.

Demings said for people to feel comfortable coming into a business next week, they need to know sanitary measures are in place.

“I want to see whether or not the employees are wearing masks or other people coming in are wearing masks," he said.

Read: Home or hospital? COVID-19 spurs increased interest in out-of-hospital births

At The Taproom, employees have had to go without pay for 30 days.

The owner, Steve Gunter, said he will have his staff not only wear face masks and have sanitizer ready at the tables, but he and his managers will be the policing to make sure customers are following the rules.

Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.