For those in the Sunshine State who have been waiting for gyms to reopen, today was your day. Governor Ron DeSantis officially gave his blessings for all Florida gyms to reopen effective May 18. During his press conference on Friday, he also lifted restrictions on other businesses in the state.

Despite the CDC recommendations that gyms should stay close, DeSantis felt it was right to reopen them, given that each location follows social distancing and other mitigation guidelines set by the state.

"Clean the dip bar when you're done doing dips!," DeSantis said in a somewhat joking way to gym operators across the state. 

While gyms will be open, they will look and operate far differently than in the past. DeSantis urged all gyms to hold more outdoor fitness classes, saying that the virus is less likely to spread outside than indoors. Also, gyms will be required to practice social distancing and keep facilities and equipment sanitized to state standards to tamp down the virus.

In addition to reopening gyms, DeSantis also gave his blessing to double the capacity of restaurants and retail to 50%. Museums and libraries will also be allowed to go to 50% capacity, but counties and cities will have total discretion.

The decision comes after Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez shared his hopes of restaurants reopening in the county on Wednesday, May 13.

For theme park fans, DeSantis will also allow theme parks to submit their reopening plans to the state, with county mayors getting a say on those plans.

Earlier this week, Disney started opening their resorts for summer reservations. Even Universal Studios opened its CityWalk venues for visitors.

The governor's announcement to fully implement his Phase 1 plan aims to give Floridians a greater sense of normalcy. DeSantis pressed the point that the state, and most of America, never wanted to be in a prolonged state of shutdown.

“The American people never signed off on being in a perpetual shelter-in-place,” DeSantis said. 

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