While the entire state of Florida will remain under a stay-at-home order until April 30th, Governor Ron DeSantis has assembled a task force to consult in the reopening of businesses that have been closed for the last several weeks.
The group, which includes the state elected leaders, mayors, and officials from many industries, including Disney World and Universal, has already examined ways to safely reopen restaurants and discussed ways to potentially reopen Disney World in stages.
Now, the group tasked with re-starting commerce in Florida has just met again to discuss what progress has been made and what still needs to be done. They are referring to this situation as, “a moving target”, and they said they will be issuing and occasionally modifying their guidelines on at least a weekly basis moving forward.
Reopening of Public Areas
As stores and workplaces slowly begin to reopen, Florida’s task force is asking all residents to wear masks in public areas.
They’re also requesting all workers to take their temperatures at home before reporting to their jobs. This will help protect customers and employees at workplaces. The leaders said they will continue to closely follow the CDC recommendations for keeping the public safe.
Florida’s Secretary of Transportation, Kevin Thibault, spoke about how his department will be allowed to assist with any needs the state has for the duration of the pandemic.
Construction on Florida’s roadways has continued during this time, saving the local economy 28,000 jobs. He said there’s further potential for 280,000 jobs to be retained and that progress on several major projects has even accelerated.
Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport, said the airlines have seen a 97% decrease in passengers during this crisis and it could be years before numbers go back to normal. He said airports are currently working on reducing their frequent touchpoints and utilizing boarding groups to keep crowd levels more manageable at gates.
Lopano also said airlines would be encouraging passengers to bring carry-on bags instead of checking their luggage. Meanwhile, he stated airports would be cleaning more frequently and rigorously including power washing restrooms and using chemical disinfectants.
All non-essential airline employees at the Tampa Airport will still work from home while all airport personnel will be required to wear masks at all times. Masks will also be available for purchase within the airports. A six-foot distance will be maintained between passengers who are waiting in security lines. They’re also working on installing plexiglass in these checkpoints where bottlenecks can occur.
The airport will be working on spreading out their seating areas and staggering their baggage claims. On airport trams, they’ll be encouraging people to spread out and give each other space as well.
Rick Sasso, President & CEO of MSC Cruises stated temperature checks and guest questionnaires would be issued to passengers. “The consumer confidence piece needs to be very present in everything we do; It’s very likely that we will come out of this as a nation healthier and at less risk because of all the things everyone is doing.” Sasso said.
If symptoms are present, boarding could be denied to cruise ship passengers. Each ships’ crew will also be subject to temperature screenings, and any sick members will be isolated from the rest of the team.
There are a significant number of cruises already booked for 2021, but at this time the task force is still unsure when sailings can resume.
In order for cruise ships to start again and for theme parks to re-open, everyone needs to do their part to make people around them feel safe. Florida’s task force is hard at work helping people feel comfortable about going back out in public again. We’ll continue to report what new guidelines the task force announces, but hopefully, with everyone’s cooperation, we can step inside Disney World someday soon!
Do you agree with the measures suggested by the Florida Task Force? Let us know in the comments.