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West Orange Times & Observer Friday, May 15, 2020 1 month ago

Governor to allow gyms, fitness centers to reopen

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will allow gyms and fitness centers to reopen on Monday, May 18.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

As Phase 1 of Florida’s reopening progresses, the governor has announced gyms and fitness centers now will be allowed to open Monday, May 18.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement in a press conference Friday, May 15, adding that the state will be moving into a “full Phase 1.”

Although national guidelines allowed for the reopening of gyms in Phase 1, DeSantis and his task force decided to keep them closed initially out of an abundance of caution.

“We were “working on different safety procedures,” he said. “We really did kind of an initial Phase 1. We wanted to go safely, smartly and we wanted it to be step by step.”

When gyms and fitness centers reopen May 18, DeSantis said, those using them should still practice social distancing and proper sanitary measures.

“If you're inside, make sure you're social distancing and then sanitize machines and surfaces after use,” he said. “That should be done anyway.”

There also will be some changes to restaurant and retail operations. Previously, they were allowed to reopen up to 25% capacity. Effective May 18, that restriction will be loosened to 50% capacity. Museums and libraries also can reopen up to 50% capacity.

“A lot of that is based off the spacing of the tables, or if you have some sort of partition … that’s fine, too,” DeSantis said. “All we’re doing is trying to create a low-risk environment.”

Finally, theme parks and amusement parks now can submit their reopening plans to the state for consideration. Parks should identify the date certain on which they believe they can reopen, as well as detailed plans on how they’ll protect guests and employees. They also must have an endorsement from a local official.

Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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