FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Florida is moving to Phase 2 of reopening after the new coronavirus lockdown, with a reopening of movie theaters, bars and bowling alleys. But again, South Florida is excluded.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced that bars with outdoor seating would open Friday. So will movie theaters and bowling alleys, with restrictions.
Bar areas may be open with seated service, and outdoor seating is allowed with social distancing. Movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades can now open at 50% of their building capacity.
But South Florida, which has led the state in the number of infections and deaths, will lag behind and open at a later, undetermined date.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said the county isn't ready to open those businesses just yet. "We'll be allowing more and more, but there is no timetable right now," he said Wednesday. "We need to continue to have this downward trend."
Bars will open "in the near future," but remain "problematic."
At bars, it is "one person up against other, it's harder to control social distancing. That's why you go to a bar, right?"
"We want to make sure we don't open up things too soon, the last thing I want to do is close things up again."
Next week will begin the opening of dance studios, summer school and summer camps in Miami-Dade and "gyms are not too far in the future, maybe next week, too. Then bowling alleys and even casinos."
In Florida, 2,566 people have so far died from the coronavirus, but DeSantis said the situation is getting better.