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Palm Beach County leaders vote to ask Gov. Ron DeSantis to allow county to enter Phase Two

Starting date for Phase Two will be determined by DeSantis, commissioners agree
Palm Beach County commissioners discuss moving to Phase Two, Sept. 1, 2020
Posted at 9:23 AM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 18:41:47-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County commissioners voted on Tuesday to ask Gov. Ron DeSantis to allow the county to enter Phase Two of Florida's reopening plan at his discretion.

However, an exact starting date for entering Phase Two will be up to DeSantis, commissioners agreed.

Commissioners spent hours listening to public comment and debating a plan that would allow Palm Beach County to enter Phase Two in increments.

Palm Beach County commissioners discuss entering Phase Two of Florida's reopening plan

In a 4-2 vote, commissioners agreed to send a letter to DeSantis, requesting to join an incremental Phase Two.

The proposal recommends that the School District of Palm Beach County reopen brick-and-mortar schools three to four weeks after the county enters Phase Two.

RELATED: Palm Beach County wants to enter Phase Two on Sept. 8

In the first increment of the plan, entertainment venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys, escape rooms, playhouses, skating and trampoline centers, and other venues would be allowed to reopen with reduced capacity.

Restaurants would continue operating at 50% indoor capacity and full capacity outdoors.

Retail stores, gyms and fitness centers, museums and libraries, and certain personal services establishments would be allowed to operate at full capacity.

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In the next increment, entertainment venues like auditoriums, bingo parlors, comedy clubs, and concert houses would be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity.

Then, movie theaters, bowling alleys, escape rooms, playhouses, skating and trampoline centers, and other entertainment venues would be allowed to expand their capacity.

Palm Beach County commissioners to discuss entering Phase Two of Florida's reopening plan

In the final phase of the plan, all of the businesses listed above would be allowed to operate at full capacity. In addition, bars, arcades, billiard halls, hookah, cigar and other smoking bars and lounges, nightclubs, establishments offering adult entertainment and strip clubs would be allowed to reopen with reduced capacity.

While the county is recommending that brick-and-mortar schools reopen three to four weeks after Palm Beach County enters Phase Two, it appears the School District of Palm Beach County is still planning to reopen brick-and-mortar schools one week after Phase Two begins.

A spokesperson for the school district sent this statement to WPTV:

"The Innovative Reopening Plan, approved by the Palm Beach County School Board and the Florida Department of Education, remains the same. The document calls for the reopening of campuses, and in-person instruction, one week after Palm Beach County moves from Phase 1 to Phase 2. At that time, parents will still have a choice whether to continue in distance learning or send their children back to in-person instruction."