Executive Order 20-112




(Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery)


WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-52 declaring a state of emergency for the entire State of Florida as a result of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on April 3, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-91 and Executive Order 20-92 directing all persons in Florida to limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home only to those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities; and

WHEREAS, my administration has implemented a data-driven strategy devoted to high-volume testing and aggressive contact tracing, as well as strict screening protocols in long-term care facilities to protect vulnerable residents; and

WHEREAS, data collected by the Florida Department of Health indicates the State has achieved several critical benchmarks in flattening the curve, including a downward trajectory of hospital visits for influenza-like illness and COVID-19-like syndromic cases, a decrease in percent positive test results, and a significant increase in hospital capacity since March 1, 2020; and

WHEREAS, during the week of April 20, 2020, I convened the Task Force to Re-Open Florida to evaluate how to safely and strategically re-open the State; and

WHEREAS, the path to re-opening Florida must promote business operation and economic recovery while maintaining focus on core safety principles.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RON DESANTIS, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section  (l)(a) of the Florida  Constitution  and Chapter 252, Florida Statutes, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order:

Section 1.        Phase 1 Recovery

In concert with the efforts of President Donald J. Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and based on guidance provided by the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Florida Surgeon General and State Health Officer, Dr. Scott Rivkees, I hereby adopt the following in response to the recommendations in Phase 1 of the plan published by the Task Force to Re-Open Florida.

Section 2.        Responsible Individual Activity

A.     All persons in Florida shall continue to limit their personal interactions outside the home; however, as of the effective date of this order, persons in Florida may provide or obtain:

1.      All services and activities currently allowed, i.e., those described in Executive Order 20-91 and its attachments, which include activities detailed in Section 3 of Executive Order 20-91, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce and a list propounded by Miami-Dade County in multiple orders (as of April 1, 2020), as well as other services and activities approved by the State Coordinating Officer. Such services should continue to follow safety guidelines issued by the CDC and OSHA. If necessary, employee screening or use of personal protective equipment should continue.

2.      Additional services responsibly provided in accordance with Sections 3 and 4 of this order in counties other than Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. In Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, allowances for services and activities from Sections 3 and 4 of this order will be considered in consultation with local leadership.

B.     Except as provided in Section 2(A)(1) of this order, senior citizens and individuals with a significant underlying medical condition (such as chronic lung disease, moderate-to-severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immunocompromised status, cancer, diabetes, severe obesity, renal failure and liver disease) are strongly encouraged to stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

C.      For the duration of this order, all persons in Florida should:

1.      Avoid congregating in large groups. Local jurisdictions shall ensure that groups of people greater than ten are not permitted to congregate in any public space that does not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.

2.      Avoid nonessential travel, including to U.S. states and cities outside of Florida with a significant presence of COVID-19.

3.      Adhere to guidelines from the CDC regarding isolation for 14 days following travel on a cruise or from any international destination and any area with a significant presence of COVID-19.

D.     This order extends Executive Order 20-80 (Airport Screening and Isolation) and Executive Order 20-82 (Isolation of Individuals Traveling to Florida), with exceptions for persons involved in military, emergency, health or infrastructure response or involved in commercial activity. This order extends Sections 1(C) and 1(D) of Executive Order 20-86 (Additional Requirements of Certain Individuals Traveling to Florida), which authorize the Department of Transportation, with assistance from the Florida Highway Patrol and county sheriffs, to continue to implement checkpoints on roadways as necessary.

Section 3.        Businesses Restricted by Previous Executive Orders

Unless I direct otherwise, for the duration of this order, the following applies to businesses directly addressed by my previous Executive Orders:

A.     Bars, pubs and nightclubs that derive more than 50 percent of gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages shall continue to suspend the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption. This provision extends Executive Order 20-68, Section 1 as modified by Executive Order 20-71, Sections 1 and 2.

B.     Restaurants and food establishments licensed under Chapters 500 or 509, Florida Statutes, may allow on-premises consumption of food and beverage, so long as they adopt appropriate social distancing measures and limit their indoor occupancy to no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy. In addition, outdoor seating is permissible with appropriate social distancing. Appropriate social distancing requires maintaining a minimum of 6 feet between parties, only seating parties of 10 or fewer people and keeping bar counters closed to seating. This provision extends Executive Order 20-68, Section 3 and supersedes the conflicting provisions of Executive Order 20-71, Section 2 regarding on-premises food consumption.

C.      Gyms and fitness centers closed by Executive Order 20-71 shall remain closed.

D.     The prohibition on vacation rentals in Executive Order 20-87 remains in effect for the duration of this order.

E.      The Department of Business and Professional Regulation shall utilize its authorities under Florida law to implement and enforce the provisions of this order as appropriate.

Section 4.        Other Affected Business Services

Unless I direct otherwise, for the duration of this order, the following applies to other business services affected by my previous Executive Orders:

A.     In-store retail sales establishments may open storefronts if they operate at no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy and abide by the safety guidelines issued by the CDC and OSHA.

B.     Museums and libraries may open at no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy, provided, however, that (a) local public museums and local public libraries may operate only if permitted by local government, and (b) any components of museums or libraries that have interactive functions or exhibits, including child play areas, remain closed.

Section 5.        Medical Procedures

Subject to the conditions outlined below, elective procedures prohibited by Executive Order 20-72 may resume when this order goes into effect. A hospital ambulatory surgical center, office surgery center, dental office, orthodontic office, endodontic office or other health care practitioners’ office in the State of Florida may perform procedures prohibited by Executive Order 20-72 only if:

A.     The facility has the capacity to immediately convert additional facility-identified surgical and intensive care beds for treatment of COVID-19 patients in a surge capacity situation;

B.     The facility has adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to complete all medical procedures and respond to COVID-19 treatment needs, without the facility seeking any additional federal or state assistance regarding PPE supplies;

C.      The facility has not sought any additional federal, state, or local government assistance regarding PPE supplies since resuming elective procedures; and

D.     The facility has not refused to provide support to and proactively engage with skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and other long-term care residential providers.

The Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Health shall utilize their authority under Florida law to further implement and enforce these requirements. This order supersedes the conflicting provisions of Executive Order 20-72.

Section 6.        Previous Executive Orders Extended

The Executive Order 20-69 (Local Government Public Meetings) is extended for the duration of this order.

Section 7.        Enforcement

This order shall be enforced under section 252.47, Florida Statutes. Violation of this order is a second-degree misdemeanor pursuant to section 252.50, Florida Statutes, and is punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 60 days, a fine not to exceed $500, or both.

Section 8.        Effective Date

This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. on May 4, 2020.