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Miami-Dade, Broward counties allowed to join Florida's reopening plan

Counties will enter Phase One on Monday, but beaches will remain closed
Gov. Ron DeSantis says he will reopen Broward and Miami-Dade counties
Posted at 11:53 AM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 18:09:57-04

DORAL, Fla. — Miami-Dade and Broward counties will join Phase One of Florida's reopening plan on Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

But that won't include beaches.

Speaking in Doral on Thursday, the governor said the two South Florida counties have met the criteria to move into the first phase, including fewer coronavirus hospitalizations and a lower percentage of positive COVID-19 tests.

"We're able to take this small, but very important step for this region," DeSantis said.

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Under Phase One, restaurants and retail shops across Florida can operate at 25 percent capacity. However, venues like gyms and movie theaters must remain closed, and students must continue distance learning until further notice.

Barber shops, hair salons, and nail salons are also allowed to reopen across the state.

Palm Beach County officially started Phase One on Monday, and with the additions of Miami-Dade and Broward, all 67 counties in Florida are now in the first stage of reopening.

"I talked to both mayors about it. They're very much engaged. They understand. And I think we just have to have all communities in Florida have an all hands on deck approach to this," said DeSantis.

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FULL NEWS CONFERENCE: Miami-Dade, Broward added to Florida's reopening plan

Officials said that beaches in Miami-Dade and Broward counties will not open until at least May 26, the day after Memorial Day.

"If we open one section of the beach, or one city, and the others are not open, then we'll have a crowd and we'll get back to where we were, not where we want to be," said Broward County Mayor Dale Holness.

"We've got to get all the coastal cities to buy in," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. "I know that Miami Beach is very hesitant to do that. And so, we want to make sure that the date is consistent both with Broward County and Miami-Dade both opening up at the same time."

Palm Beach County beaches are due to tentatively open on May 18, officials announced last week.

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According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 43,210 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 1,875 deaths.