Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step

As of June 5, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ full Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery are in effect.

The plan encourages Floridians to limit personal interactions outside the home and exercise responsible individual activity, but allows the conditional reopening of certain activities, stores, restaurants, fitness centers, and cultural facilities. The Governor has issued several Orders for Phase 1 and Phase 2. The provisions in Phase 2 takes the place of any conflicting provisions in Phase 1. Hillsborough County encourages all residents and business owners to completely read the Orders:

Below are some basic answers to frequently asked questions. These answers are not meant to replace the Orders, but simply provide a quick overview to assist you in sorting through the information. 

Hillsborough County emergency leaders have aligned the community’s COVID-19 coronavirus recovery to the plan announced by Governor Ron DeSantis.

See more information about County Services.

During Phase 1 and 2, vulnerable individuals, including seniors and individuals with a significant underlying medical condition, should avoid close contact with people outside of the home and are strongly encouraged to take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 as recommended by the CDC.

What You Should Know

What should I do when I am in public?
Phase 1 contains provisions to continue to safeguard the public so residents should continue to take these steps to safeguard themselves and others:

  • All individuals, when in public, should maximize physical distance from others.
  • Phase 2 of the Governor’s order recommends people avoid socializing in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.Cloth face coverings are recommended in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. grocery stores and pharmacies). See a how to video on making face coverings as well as in Spanish.
  • Hillsborough County’s Emergency Policy Group (EPG) enacted an order requiring that face coverings be worn inside businesses that are open to the public, with certain exceptions. (link to order)
    The City of Tampa has a separate order.
  • To reduce risk, the Centers for Disease Control recommends washing hands often, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
  • Visits to nursing homes and long-term care facilities are prohibited.

Can I go to my favorite restaurant?
Under Phase 2 of the governor’s order, restaurants and other establishments, may offer outdoor seating, as well as indoor seating at 50% of building seating capacity. This does not apply to nightclubs. The requirement for a minimum of 6 feet between parties is superseded to the extent appropriate partitioning is in place. Bar top areas may be open with seated service, with appropriate social distancing. Patrons may only receive service if seated.

All vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises who derive more than 50% of gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages shall suspend the sales of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in accordance with Emergency Order 2020-09 of the State’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation. For more information, visit The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation.

Can I shop in a store? Yes. Retail establishments may operate at full capacity with responsible social distancing and sanitization protocols.

Can I visit a family member? 
Yes, if caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend.

Can visitors enter nursing homes and long-term care facilities? 
No, those restrictions remain in place in accordance with the Governor’s Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan in accordance with conditions set by the Agency for Health Care Administration

May I exercise outside or participate in recreational activities? 
Yes, if consistent with social distancing guidelines as published by the Centers for Disease Control.

Can I go to my doctor if it’s not COVID-19 related? 

Yes, you should always seek medical care when needed.

Can I have an elective medical procedure?
Elective medical procedures may resume at hospital ambulatory surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental offices, orthodontic offices, endodontic office, and other health care practitioners’ offices that meet certain conditions including adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

May childcare centers open? 
Child care facilities are allowed to be open under the Governor’s order but the Early Learning Coalition, Hillsborough County Child Care Licensing, Children's Board of Hillsborough County, and the University of South Florida reminds child care providers and parents to continue your diligence in helping prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Safety measure recommendations from early childhood experts.

Additional resources for child care providers and parents can be found here.

Are gyms and fitness centers open?
Yes. Gyms may operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and frequent sanitization.

Can I go to the movies now?
Entertainment businesses, including but not limited to movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades, may operate at 50 percent capacity with appropriate social distancing and sanitization.

May churches, synagogues, or other houses of worship hold services? 
Yes, there has been no change on the ability to hold/attend these services. According to the State’s FAQ’s for Executive Order 20-112, any building or venue that is open should follow appropriate social distancing and sanitation procedures. The Florida Department of Health encourages churches, synagogues or other houses of worship to follow CDC guidance specific to faith organizations.

Can I rent or stay at a vacation rental?
Yes, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has approved Hillsborough County’s plan for vacation rentals.

Are museums open? 
Museums may open at no more than 50% of their building occupancy. Interactive shared exhibits, like child play areas, remain closed.

Can I get a tattoo or massage now?
Personal services businesses, including but not limited to tattoo parlors, acupuncture establishments, tanning salons and massage establishments, may operate while adhering to guidance from the Florida Department of Health.

What is the status of pari-mutuel facilities under Phase 2?
Pari-mutuel facilities may submit a request to open to the (State) Department of Business and Professional Regulation. For pari-mutuel facilities in Hillsborough County, the request must include an endorsement/request to open from the County Administrator. Learn how to receive the Hillsborough County endorsement here.

Is there any update about whether public universities and colleges will be reopening for the fall semester?
Florida’s state universities developed a task force to create a framework to reopen Florida’s campuses in the fall and universities will present their plans on June 23, 2020.

 


What Businesses Should Know 

The Governor’s orders provide direction on what businesses can reopen and under what restrictions in order to protect public health and safety. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation provides additional guidance on health and safety requirements for specific businesses. 
Hillsborough County encourages all residents and business owners to completely read the Orders:

Are personal services allowed to reopen and provide services under Executive Order 20-120?
Personal services businesses, including but not limited to tattoo parlors, acupuncture establishments, tanning salons and massage establishments, may operate while adhering to guidance from the Florida Department of Health.

Holders of the following state-issued barber or cosmetology licenses may provide services at establishments that adopt appropriate social distancing and precautionary measures directed in Executive Order 20-120: Barber; Restricted Barber; Cosmetologist; Nail Specialist; Facial Specialist; Full Specialist; Hair Braider; Hair Wrapper; and Body Wrapper.
These license holders are permitted to perform the barbering or cosmetology services as authorized by their respective license or registration. More on safety & sanitation, occupancy, hours and appointments can be found here. The enclosed restrictions are mandatory and must be followed by barbershops, cosmetology salons, and cosmetology specialty salons.

May my business and its employees continue to operate remotely and provide delivery of our product? 
Yes, all businesses are encouraged to provide delivery or pickup and to take orders online or by telephone.

Are there minimum health protocols that must be met to open my business?
Yes. To further protect the public against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Hillsborough County’s Emergency Policy Group (EPG) enacted an order requiring that face coverings be worn inside businesses that are open to the public, with certain exceptions. The City of Tampa has a separate order.

The EPG’s order applies to all persons, including customers and employees, inside Hillsborough County businesses that are open to the public when social distancing cannot be maintained. The order is effective immediately.

Additionally, the Governor’s Executive Orders and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation require appropriate social distancing, as well as safety measures for cleaning and sanitation that are specific to certain businesses. 

Hillsborough County requires face coverings to be worn inside businesses that are open to the public, with certain exceptions. Get instructions on how to make your own face covering out of common household items.

What do I need to do to open my business? 
Review the requirements of Governor’s Executive Order 20-139Executive Order 20-112, Executive Order 20-120, and Executive Order 20-123. Also review any guidance that has been provided from state and federal regulatory agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. You may also want to review guidance published by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Where can I report a business that violates the Governor’s Executive Order? 
Local law enforcement.


Safety Precautions

Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home. The CDC recommends continuing social distancing while in public, avoiding groups of 10 or larger and using face coverings in public when you can’t maintain 6 feet away from others.

Reduce your risk 

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and toss used paper towels in the trash.
  • Wash after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Wash after touching someone.
  • If you don’t have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cough and sneeze into your bent elbow or a tissue. Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Health officials are recommending people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth when in community settings. Get instructions on how to make your own face covering out of common household items.

Face Coverings

Health Experts Recommend Wearing Face Masks in Public to Stop the Spread of COVID-19 - Watch Video