Florida Elected Officials Discuss ‘Phased Reopening'

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State and local elected officials are discussing how to reopen the economy. 

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio expressed his views on the topic Wednesday in a social media post. 

“What we are doing now, is not sustainable long term, we can not keep the country in this condition for 6 months,” Rubio said. 

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis also weighing in. He sent out a letter saying he envisions a “phased approach.”

In the letter, he says, “We know the severe economic impact caused by the emergency measures, and we all want to get our lives back on track. As a city, we are committed to doing that responsibly.”

It went on to say, “What I envision is a phased approach. We likely should wait until we see a week or two of a sustained reduction in new cases so our hospital system could safely treat all new patients without crisis standards from that point forward.” 

In an interview, he told us decisions must be based on recommendations from the medical community. 

“We are looking to the medical community to give us some type of indication as to what is considered safer practices under these conditions,” Trantalis said. 

In the letter, he also said, “Perhaps restaurants expand from just takeout and delivery services to a limited dine-in option where they operate at half of their capacity. Perhaps some recreational amenities can reopen such as beaches, parks, condo pools and boat ramps.” 

One restaurant owner says he would like to see the economy open back open, but with some restrictions. 

“I think the government is doing the right things to try to reopen, to try to at least give us some hope, because right now our hope is going down and down, and right now it is going to be very difficult to survive,” Angelo Elia said. 

Angelo Elia owns eight restaurants. He says each location has seen a drastic decrease in business and he is making changes in order to bring in more customers. 

He says when he gets the green light to reopen he will be ready.

“Sanitize the table, to hot towel, to bring white cloth service, to do what we can to make them safe, because at the end of the day we want to be safe too,” Elia said. 

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