What does Phase 3 in Florida Mean?


Amy-Grace Shapiro

Businesses across Florida have adapted to new sets of rules as the state enters Phase 3 of its COVID-19 response.

Isabella Hewitt, Multimedia Photo Editor

Recently, Florida transitioned to phase three of the state’s reopening plan for the COVID-19 pandemic. Phase three allows for restaurants, bars, schools, bowling alleys, movie theaters, salons, arcades, casinos and other businesses to reopen at full capacity. 

Governor Ron Desantis of Florida made the decision to move the state to phase three in late Sept. 2020.  

The following public locations must obey certain restrictions and rules during phase three. 

Restaurants, bars and nightclubs can open at full capacity only if alcohol comprises 50% or more of their income. Plastic menus must be cleaned daily. 

Other public locations allowed to operate at full capacity include fitness centers and gyms, as well as personal service businesses such as tattoo shops, spas, salons and more. 

Recreational areas such as beaches, state parks, arcades, casinos and similar public places must open with social distancing restrictions.

Phase three also restarted in-person/physical schooling, meaning students went to their actual school campuses to learn. 

As a result of phase three, Florida schools have undergone adjustments much quicker than other public commodities.

All Miami-Dade County Public schools must adhere to the following protocols: one-way hallways and staircases, social distancing at lunch, classroom doors remaining open at all times and spacing between desks.

Many Miami Palmetto Senior High School teachers have taken matters into their own hands when it comes to their personal safety and have been taking extra precautions in phase three. Some of these precautions involve wearing multiple face masks and protective eyewear or face shields. Several teachers have chosen to hang clear shower curtains around their desks instead of plexiglass shields.  

The local Pinecrest Community Center is also affected in many ways. 

Pinecrest follows the county and state rules. So, all masks and distance rules they use, we use. Our facilities are open, and we’ve seen no negative impacts. Everyone is in compliance with the rules and behaving very well,” Village of Pinecrest Mayor Joseph M. Corradino said.  

Corradino mentioned how the people of Pinecrest must continue to be as careful as they were in phases one and two and all employees must abide by the rules no exceptions. The two main precautions regard mask-wearing and staying distant from others. 

“We can severely inhibit the trajectory of the disease [if we follow these precautions],” Corradino said.  

Following the precautions directed by the center and other places can help lessen the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking for the Pinecrest Community Center gym, we are allowed to open to 100% capacity as part of Governor DeSantis’ phase three reopening, but there is still a Miami-Dade Emergency Order in place that limits gym facilities to 50% occupancy,” Parks and Recreation director Robert C. Mattes said.

Mattes also says that locker rooms are not in use except for their bathrooms. Gym surfaces get disinfected multiple times a day  by both gym members and staff. Bathrooms also get disinfected every two hours.

Phase three in Florida consists of a variety of modifications and changes and lifts restrictions, but Florida must continue to exercise caution to stay safe.