Fort Lauderdale Community Leaders Draft Plan for Reopening

Mayor Dean Trantalis said there isn't a date set for reopening the city, but said they're "getting close"

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A group of community leaders have drafted a plan for the phased reopening of Fort Lauderdale as the city seeks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The report was compiled by a group of more than 20 business executives, medical professionals and neighborhoods leaders assembled by Mayor Dean Trantalis. It was submitted to the city commission and will be discussed by the commission on Tuesday.

Trantalis said there isn't a date set for reopening the city, but said they're "getting close." He said the city is working with other cities, Broward County, and surrounding counties on a uniform approach to reopening.

"While we all are anxious to return to work and get back to those activities we so enjoy, we must do so in a phased, cautious fashion in order to avoid any rebound in the virus that would cause a return to the existing stay-at-home policies," Trantalis said in a statement.

Trantalis said the city hasn't achieved the criteria under the CDC guidelines that calls for widespread testing, but said they are getting close.

Under the plan, beaches would initially open for passive activities including walking, jogging and swimming with social distancing of 6 feet. Sunbathing, lounging and congregating would be prohibited.

Parks would also open for passive activities, with individual groups of more than 10 prohibited. Face masks would be required except while exercising.

Boat ramps would reopen with one boat per launch allowed at a time. Boats would be required to stay 50 feet apart at all times, and gatherings of more than 10 people would be prohibited.

Golf courses would open with modifications to game play and 6-feet social distancing rules. Only one player would be allowed per cart.

Recreational amenities at condominiums and apartment complexes would be allowed to reopen with restrictions, including social distancing at pools and gyms, along with sanitization requirements.

Businesses would be encouraged to continue telework, but employees would be required to wear masks in offices within 6 feet of others, with social distancing of 6 feet required as much as possible.

Employee common areas would be closed, and employers would have to have a plan to conduct employee health checks to prevent ill employees from working. More intense cleaning is also advised.

Retails store employees would be required to wear masks, and hand sanitizer would need to be available near entrances. Social distancing of 6 feet and certain restrictions on capacity would also be in place.

Restaurants would be allowed to reopen at 50 percent of their legally allowed capacity with an emphasis on outdoor dining. Tables would be spaced 6 feet for social distancing.

Masks and gloves would be required for all restaurant staff, and employees would have to have their temperature taken at the start of their shift. Patrons would also have temperatures taken upon entrance, with ill customers rejected.

Menus would be single-use and disposable, and there will be sanitization at host stations once an hour with sanitization of tables and dining areas after each use.

Hotels would also take temperatures of workers and guests, and guest rooms would need to be thorougly sanitized after every check-out. Employees would be required to wear masks and visitors would have to wear masks in common areas.

At hair and nail salons and barbers, all employees and customers would be required to wear face masks, with employees required to wear gloves. Social distancing of 6 feet between work stations would also be required.

Gyms would also open with restricted use and social distancing, and equipment constantly sanitized. Employees and patrons would need to have their temperatures taken, and certain facilities including basketball and racquetball courts and saunas would remain closed.

Museums would reopen with all employees and customers required to wear masks, hand sanitizer stations, and tickets limited to 5 people per 1,000 square feet of public space.

Bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues would remain closed, and public events would continue to be prohibited.

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