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What Reopening Pinellas County Will Look Like

May 1, 2020

In two unanimous votes, the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners decided Friday to extend the local state of emergency while allowing some businesses to resume in accordance with Governor Ron DeSantis’s plan to reopen the state.

Here's what that plan means for Pinellas County.

Restaurants and Bars:

Restaurants and other dining establishments may reopen indoor dining areas at 25% of the building’s capacity. Groups will be limited to ten, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Outdoor seating as long as appropriate CDC social distancing guidelines are followed. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that he’s spoken with a number of cities about closing streets to allow restaurants to expand their outdoor dining options.

Bars, pubs, and nightclubs will remain closed.

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Retail:

Retailers must still provide curbside delivery and pickup options, but are now allowed to open up their shops at 25% capacity – employees and staff do not count toward the 25%.

The 25% maximum occupancy limit does not apply to essential services or activities, such as grocery stores, medical offices and home improvement stores.

They following retailers and services must remain closed:

  • 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)

Owners of some retailers and service providers that have pushed to be allowed to reopen did get good news in the order - pet groomers and car washes can operate at 25% capacity.

“In-store retail sales isn’t carwashes, but please, everybody get in line. We are trying to make all of this happen the best we can with this bucket of mud that (the state) gave us,” said Gualtieri.

Beaches:

Pinellas County beaches will reopen to the public Monday at 7 a.m.

In addition to normal patrols, Gualtieri said 250 deputies will monitor the beaches from Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs to Fort De Soto Park and Beach at the southern tip of the county to ensure beachgoers maintain proper social distance.

The goal is to make sure there's not a repeat of the large crowds that were seen on Clearwater Beach during spring break in mid-March.

“We’re going to take a common-sense approach to this,” said the Sheriff. “So if five people come together, they can stay together – but no joining larger groups.”

And just in case they forget, Gualtieri said there will be uniformed deputies stationed at all 213 beach access points and thousands of signs to remind people of CDC distancing guidelines.

Pools:

Community pools, as well as pools at condos, apartments, hotels and other commercial businesses, may reopen, but are limited to 50% of the pool’s capacity. People directed not to congregate in groups of more than ten people and people not in the same group must remain six feet apart.

Playgrounds:

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.

Public playgrounds remain closed.

Museums and Libraries:

All museums and libraries may reopen at 25% capacity. Interactive functions/exhibits and child play areas must remain closed.

Local governments may decide to keep museums and libraries closed.

To see the full Pinellas County plan, click here.

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