Florida Begins Its Reopening On Monday

Miami – With more than 36,000 cases and almost 1,400 deaths from COVID-19, Florida will enter the first phase of its “reopening” this Monday, after a month of confinement that has had a severe impact on an economy until two months ago, buoyant and with an unemployment rate below the national average.

The three-phase plan to “get the Floridians back on their feet” will begin Monday, as described by Governor Ron DeSantis, who has left out of the first phase the three southeastern counties most affected by the coronavirus.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, with more than half of the 36,078 cases of COVID-19 confirmed to date in Florida, which are 615 more than on Saturday, will remain under stricter measures to prevent contagion for now.


The Florida Department of Health reported this Sunday that deaths from COVID-19 total 1,379 and hospitalizations 6,035.

Since March 1, 429,970 tests have been performed, which in 8.4% of the cases have been positive, but if only the cases confirmed in the last 10 days are taken into account, the positive rate is between 4.12 and 6.18% , as highlighted by DeSantis, which calls daily press conferences.

The first COVID-19 case in Florida was confirmed on March 1, and some cities and counties began taking action that same month, but Republican DeSantis resisted as much as he could to put the entire state under confinement and close all businesses. except the “essentials”.

The order to stay home for all of Florida came into effect on April 1 and will last until Monday, the date on which the state will join another fifteen regions of the country that have already begun a relaxation of movement restrictions. .

Nothing will be the same

Except for bars, nightclubs, cinemas, gyms and hairdressers, barbershops, manicure centers and other personal services, tomorrow all the businesses in the 64 counties included in phase one will open their doors.

But nothing will be the same as before in the first phase, the duration of which will depend on how the situation evolves.

Maintaining the physical distance of six feet (1.82 meters) between people and not gathering more than ten people at a time are the main commandments of phase one.

In the case of the restaurants that survived during the confinement preparing meals to take away, they will now be able to serve customers within the establishments but at 25% of their capacity, the same as the retail businesses.

All medical services and health care facilities will be able to return to normal operation and perform surgical procedures, including cosmetic ones.

However, hospitals that resume non-emergency operations will need to be ready to assist geriatric centers.

More than 400 of the deaths from COVID-19 recorded in the state have occurred in these centers, which will remain isolated as before, without visits from family members to residents.

Tourism, an engine off

As for mobility, you can travel freely throughout the state, and visitors arriving in Florida from hot spots of COVID-19 will need to be screened at the airport and put in isolation for a time.

Seasonal rentals through platforms are still suspended, and hotels and other places of accommodation are only allowed to provide essential services.

Neither the theme parks that so many people visit Florida nor the cruises can work for now.

This means that the tourism sector, Florida’s main economic engine, has yet to wait.

In 2018, the last full year for which there are official figures, 127 million tourists visited Florida and in the first half of 2019 there were 68.9 million. In both periods, visitors from other parts of the United States accounted for more than half.

According to the official organization Visit Florida, in 2017 tourists contributed $ 85.9 billion to the state’s economy and 13.4% of the tax revenue came from tourism.

Mass unemployment

The Hotel and Lodging Association of America estimates that of the 747,705 jobs dependent on the hotel industry in Florida, 336,467 have been lost or will be lost.

The number of layoffs and temporary job and salary suspensions in the theme park sector, which is concentrated in Orlando (central Florida), is also in the thousands.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 4.3% in March, 1.5 points more than in February, and it is estimated that in April it will rise exponentially since it was the month of confinement.

Unemployment subsidy applications increased by more than 426,000 last week in Florida and the malfunction of the official page to claim those payments has caused a group of citizens to have sued the governor.

The University of Florida Office of Economic and Business Research monthly consumer confidence index plummeted in March and was 11.2 points lower than in February.