Restaurants, Retail Stores, and Gyms Can Operate at 50% Capacity in Florida
Restaurants and retail stores in Florida may now increase their capacity to 50% (the previous limit was 25% capacity). Gyms and fitness centers may open at 50% capacity (except in Broward and Miami-Dade counties).
For a one-page summary from the Governor’s office about what businesses may now be open in Florida, click here.
Restaurants have some specific requirements. The following measures are mandatory for restaurants and food establishments:
- Indoor seating must be limited to 50% capacity of the dining room, excluding employees.
- Bar counters must remain closed, however tables in the bar area may be used for seating if 6 feet apart.
- Outdoor tables must be separated by at least 6 feet.
- No more than 10 customers at one table (inside and outside).
- Social distancing must be used for seating and serving customers in all areas of the restaurant, including:
1. A minimum of 6 feet between parties or the use of a partition between parties; and
2. Not allowing customers to congregate in bar or waiting areas.
- Food contact surfaces like dishes, utensils, and glasses/cups must be washed, rinsed, and sanitized after each use.
- Surfaces that are frequently touched by customers and employees must be disinfected frequently, such as doorknobs, equipment handles, and checkout counters. Tables, arm rests, menus, and other items used by customers must be disinfected between each use.
- Restaurants located in Broward and Miami-Dade counties have additional safety requirements. Please refer to these counties’ websites for more information:
The following best practices are recommended for restaurants and food establishments:
- Provide hand sanitizer, soap and water, or disinfecting wipes for customers.
- Remove all unnecessary items that are frequently touched like magazines, newspapers, and other unnecessary paper products from tables and customer areas.
- Provide physical guides for customers to socially distance, such as tape on floors or sidewalks.
- Limit access to buffets, salad bars, and beverage stations to employees only.
- Encourage third-party delivery staff (like Grub Hub and UberEATS) to socially distance and wait outside or in non-congested areas when picking up delivery orders.
- While face coverings are not required for food service employees, it is strongly encouraged where social distancing is not feasible.
While the State of Florida is not requiring face coverings for restaurants, your local government may require them. For example, Miami-Dade and Broward counties require face coverings for restaurant employees. And even if your city or county does not require face coverings, you may require that your employees wear them.
For more information about the mandatory measures and best practices for restaurants from the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, click here.
For Frequently Asked Questions about these requirements for restaurants, click here.
Gyms and Fitness Centers
Gyms and fitness centers may also open at 50% capacity of the building’s occupancy as long as safety measures are adopted, including social distancing in group classes and sufficient cleaning supplies to make sure customers self-clean surfaces and machines with sanitation wipes after each use. Commercial gyms and fitness centers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are not allowed to open at this time unless they are located in a housing development.