Reopening Florida: Phase 1 FAQs

Beginning May 4, the State of Florida will initiate Phase 1 of a phased approach to return to normalcy. While Flagler County takes steps toward reopening and resuming normal life, residents and businesses should still take precautionary measures seriously and comply with CDC guidelines. Individuals are still recommended to wear face coverings when interacting in public, and gatherings of more than 10 people should be avoided. Those who are 65 and older, and those with underlying conditions, should continue to shelter in place and exercise extra caution when out in public. Many restrictions remain in place during Phase 1 of reopening. To see the complete Executive Order detailing Phase 1, click here.

phase 1 of florida's recovery

  • This order is effective as of May 4rd at 12:01 AM. 
  • The services and activities deemed “essential” continue to be permitted
  • Some services deemed “nonessential” are reopening with limitations, while some will remain closed.
  • Schools will continue distance learning and organized youth activities will remain closed.

What are “essential services and activities?” 
Some of the essential services and activities that will be permitted during this statewide shutdown include:

  • Attending religious services
  • Going to grocery stores 
  • Going to gas stations
  • Going to healthcare facilities
  • Going to pharmacies
  • Going to childcare centers
  • Taking care of pets and caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend
  • A social gathering in a public space is NOT an essential activity or service.
Banks, grocery stores, pharmacies, veterinarian clinics, healthcare facilities, waste management operations, delivery and transit companies and more are all considered essential during this crisis and are allowed to remain open. For the latest list of Essential Services and Activities visit or click HERE. To learn more about what businesses in Flagler County are still open and offering services visit our business page HERE.

What services and activities are still closed? 

According to the office of Governor DeSantis, the following services and activities will remain closed during Phase 1:

  • Salons
  • Movie theaters
  • Gyms

What services and activities are open and what are their limitations? 
According to the office of Governor DeSantis, the following services and activities will open with limitations during Phase 1: 

  • Restaurants: Restaurants may serve outdoor settings so long as tables are spaced 6 feet apart. Indoor seating is permissible so long as the restaurant does not exceed more than 25% of its room occupancy, and tables are spaced 6 feet apart. All restaurants should be compliant with CDC guidelines
  • In-store retail for “non-essential” stores: Non-essential retailers may open their storefronts so long as they do not operate at more than 25% of store occupancy, and CDC guidelines are complied with.
What additional limitations are in place? 
  • Bars, pubs, and nightclubs that derive more than 50% of gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages are directed to continue the suspension of sales of alcoholic beverages for on – premise consumption.
  • Long-term care facilities will continue to restrict visits until otherwise stated by Governor DeSantis.
  • Individuals entering the State of Florida may still be subject to screening and recommendations for 14-day self-isolation as they enter the state.
Will hospitals and healthcare providers resume scheduling of elective procedures? 

Yes, as of Monday, May 4, the scheduling of elective procedures may resume in within hospitals and healthcare settings. Hospitals are directed to maintain the capacity to handle potential COVID-19 case surges.