With data showing some decline to the health crisis in Florida, the Governor is looking to local professionals for a plan to reopen the state.
The Re-Open Florida Task Force has been discussing guidelines to present to the Governor for the reopening of the state. Recently, they sent in their recommendations as a three-phased plan. Each phase in the Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery opens different industries a little more over time, and the document specifically addresses the opening of theme parks like Disney World.
Keep in mind, this report has been submitted as guidelines — that doesn’t mean that the Governor will institute them or that they will be mandatory.
As we mentioned, the plan is three phases, and to move on to the next phase the state has to show a continued decline in the health crisis. Benchmarks include syndromic surveillance, epidemiology & outbreak decline, and health care capability. Success in these measures means that the next phase can begin.
Florida is currently in “Phase 0” meaning that large sporting events and theme parks are currently operating under restricted business measures or (like Disney) have been closed.
Phase 1 of the plan would maintain caution against travel along with limitations on social gatherings. For theme parks specifically, the plan details that they “will remain closed.”
It is possible that outside-of-park restaurants, like those in Disney Springs, could open during this phase with operation at no more than 50% capacity along with distancing measures such as keeping parties separated by at least six feet. This phase also details that recreational businesses like movie theaters, concert halls, and bowling alleys could reopen with limited capacity and strict safety protocols.
Phase 2 is marked by the suggestion that individuals may resume non-essential travel while limitations remain for social gatherings and vulnerable populations. This is also the phase where theme parks may consider reopening with capacity limits, strict distancing, and proper cleanliness measures.
If these guidelines are used, Disney World could potentially have the option of opening at this time. Also included would be the reopening of bars, pubs, and nightclubs. Restaurants and recreational businesses would be able to return to 75% capacity.
The final phase of reopening offers fewer guidelines for social gatherings and populations. The plan says “Theme parks may return to normal operations with limited social distancing protocols.”
Though there are new safety guidelines suggested, Phase 3 also allows bars, pubs, and nightclubs, restaurants, and recreational businesses to reopen fully with limited distancing protocols. Beyond that, it will be up to individual businesses how they would like to manage new protocols and procedures.
You can read the full three-phase plan here. We will report in as soon as we have the official guidelines from the governor and dates for the reopening of the state. As of now, it looks like Florida will potentially move to a Phase 1 on May 4th.
It is important to note that, while the Re-Open Florida Task Force has members that represent Walt Disney World, there has been no official word from Disney on their future reopening procedures. And while these recommendations were outlined in a report to the governor, they do not represent the official guidelines of the Orlando theme parks.
What do you think about the phased reopening of Florida? Tell us in the comments.