Page last updated on May 4, 2020 –

State of Florida & Pinellas County Guidance for Phase 1 Reopening

On April 29, 2020, the Governor issued Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery. The plan allows for the phased opening of non-essential services and activities, and requires all individuals to continue following CDC safety and social distancing guidelines.

  1. Under the Governor’s Executive Order 20-111, the State Safer at Home Order is extended through 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 4, 2020.
  2. The Governor’s Executive Order 20-112, Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery, is effective May 4, 2020 with no set expiration date, and the following apply:
    • Senior citizens and individuals with underlying serious medical conditions are strongly encouraged to stay home and limit exposure to reduce COVID-19 risks.
    • All essential services and activities previously allowed under the State’s Safer at Home Order may continue in the same manner in which they have been operating, including adherence to the safety guidelines issued by the CDC and OSHA.
    • Consistent with the Governor’s prior orders, Bars, Pubs and Nightclubs remain closed.
    • Vacation rentals also remain prohibited.
  3. Restaurants and Food Establishments may reopen dining areas with a maximum occupancy of 25% of the stated building capacity.Bar counters where alcohol is served must remain closed. Outdoor seating is permitted under the Governor’s order without building capacity limitations, as long as appropriate CDC social distancing guidelines are followed. Please note that local ordinances may limit outside seating. Additional guidance for restaurants and food establishments is enclosed in the last page of this document.
  4. Beginning on May 4, 2020, unless specifically prohibited and set forth below, non-essential services and activities may operate using social distancing guidelines. All non-essential services and activities may engage in unlimited curbside delivery and pickup. All permissible in-store activities must adhere to a maximum of 25% of the stated building occupancy. Employees, staff and/or independent contractors working at the establishment do not count toward the 25% building occupancy. Patrons will still be required to follow the appropriate CDC social distancing (no groups larger than 10 and maintain 6 feet between groups). The 25% maximum occupancy limit does not apply to essential services or activities, such as grocery stores, medical offices and home improvement stores, etc.
  5. The following non-essential services and activity types must remain CLOSED per the Governor:
    • Arcade and video/game rooms
    • Day/Beauty spa services
    • Hair salon services (including braiding, hair cutting and styling)
    • Nail salon services
    • Barber shop services
    • Fitness, dance, Pilates, and yoga studios and gyms
    • Massage (unless directed by a medical provider)
    • Painting, craft, or art studios
    • Tattoo and piercing services
    • Bowling
    • Zoos
    • Pool halls
    • Concert and music halls
    • Locations with amusement rides and/or water parks
    • Movie and other theaters (including adult entertainment theaters)

Any other non-essential service and activity not specifically listed above is allowed to operate, subject to the 25% maximum occupancy and social distancing requirements.

  1. Museums and Libraries – Maximum patron occupancy at 25% of stated building capacity.Interactive functions/exhibits and child play areas must remain closed. Local governments may decide to keep museums and libraries closed.
  2. The Governor’s executive order directs everyone not to congregate in groups of more than 10 people and that people not of the same group remain 6 feet apart. This must be adhered to in a practical way while using common sense. To clarify, the directives do not prohibit 10 people from being in one building or place. More than 10 people are allowed in grocery stores, churches, parks, etc.; however, they must be 6 feet apart from those not in the same group. If you arrive together, you are allowed to stay together. Large gatherings for sporting, leisure or similar activities at venues, arenas and stadiums are prohibited.

County Orders and Guidance

  1. Under the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners’ Resolution #20-33 effective
    April 30, 2020 all pools may reopen and are limited to 50% of that pool’s posted capacity and everyone is directed not to congregate in groups of more than ten people and that people not of the same group must remain six feet apart.  Owners and operators must follow the CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfection of facilities.
  2. Under the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners’ Resolution #20-35 effective
    April 30, 2020 playgrounds and play equipment located at private child care facilities may reopen while following the Governor’s Executive Order of no more than nine children and one caregiver per classroom, provided that all equipment used by one group of children must be cleaned and sanitized before use by another group of children. Owners and operators must follow the CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfection of facilities. Public playgrounds remain closed.
  3. Under the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners’ Resolution #20-34 effective
    May 4, 2020 all Pinellas County public beaches and public beach parking facilities may reopen on May 4 and everyone is directed not to congregate in groups of more than ten people and that people not of the same group must remain six feet apart. Public beach restrooms may be open with enhanced cleaning and sanitation that meet CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfection.
  4. All residents are strongly encouraged to wear face masks per CDC guidance when in places of high foot traffic such as grocery and retail stores.

Examples for Restaurants and Food Establishments based on State Order

  1. Maximum 25% of Stated Building Occupancy
    If your establishment’s stated maximum building occupancy is 180, the State Order allows for a maximum of 45 patrons at the same time indoors. The percentage measurement is not based on the number of tables you once had in your establishment; it is based upon the authorized building occupancy on your business license. Employees, staff and/or independent contractors working at the establishment do not count toward the 25% maximum occupancy.

April 28, 2020

The latest plans to reopen the beaches and Pinellas County will come with some rules.

The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners issued modified orders on Tuesday allowing for the conditional reopening of public beaches, public beach parking areas, and common area swimming pools. The pools and childcare facility playgrounds may reopen Thursday at 6 a.m., and the beaches will open Monday, May 4, at 7 a.m.

• Pools at hotels, motels, homeowner associations, apartment complexes and long-term care facilities are limited to 50 percent of the stated pool maximum bathing load. Owners and operators must adhere to CDC social distancing and sanitation guidelines.
• Childcare facility playgrounds may reopen with CDC social distancing and sanitation requirements. However, facilities must continue to comply with the state order that requires social distancing and no groups larger than 10. Play equipment used by one group of children must be cleaned and sanitized before use by another group of children.
• Public beach visitors must adhere to CDC social distancing guidelines. Groups of more than 10 are prohibited, and people not from the same family must stay at least 6 feet apart.
• Public beach restrooms must meet CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfection.  Concessions, including snack bar and kayak and chair rentals, will remain closed pending new direction from the state regarding nonessential businesses.
• Sand Key Park, Fort De Soto Park and all of Fred Howard Park will reopen with the beaches. Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island state parks will remain closed until reopened by the state.

Essential and nonessential businesses
Businesses not listed as essential under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Safer at Home order of April 1, 2020, must remain closed until the state order is rescinded, expires on Thursday, or a new state order is issued. Absent new guidance from the state, Pinellas County will revert to its own Safer at Home order of March 26, 2020, subject to amendments the Board could make when it meets again Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Data-driven approach
The Board opted to take this first step to reopen the County’s economy and amenities based on COVID-19 trending data. Trends indicate a flattening or downward trajectory in the number of cases, number of positive test results and demand on the local healthcare system – resulting from the cooperation of citizens with the restrictions put in place. County Administrator Barry A. Burton and Sheriff Bob Gualtieri received input from health officials, municipal partners and community stakeholders in advance of Tuesday’s meeting. The Board also heard from Department of Health Pinellas Director Dr. Ulyee Choe on Tuesday.

Due to the ongoing risk presented by COVID-19, citizens are required to continue to practice social distancing, hand washing and other good hygiene habits to protect themselves and others. Those over age 65 and/or having underlying health conditions are encouraged to take even more steps to minimize their risk of exposure.

Pinellas CARES local financial assistance 
In other action, the Board also approved the Pinellas CARES financial relief programs, which are funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Pinellas CARES Financial Assistance will support eligible individuals and families who have lost their jobs or significant income due to COVID-19 with one-time assistance paying overdue rent, mortgage and utility bills. Payments will be disbursed directly to the utility, mortgage or other eligible agency to which the individual bills are due.

Pinellas CARES Small Business Grants will offer one-time $5,000 grants to eligible small businesses with 25 employees or less to cover expenses such as employee wages, vendor bills and rent. The emergency relief is targeted to specifically help local businesses with a commercial location in the county cover immediate financial needs caused by the pandemic.

Funds can only be used to pay for financial losses caused by the pandemic that have not already been paid for by insurance or by another federal aid program.

Additional information about how to apply to each program will be posted this week at www.PinellasCounty.org/Covid19. The County will also be conducting broad public outreach on these programs and will issue additional media updates over the next several days.

The COVID-19 website also provides information about the County’s COVID response, recommendations, frequently asked questions, health information and links to a variety of assistance.

For full details of the plan to reopen, visit Pinellas County’s website