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Broward’s Reopening Plan Limits Groups, Encourages Telework

APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Florida Beaches
Visitors enjoy Clearwater Beach, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Clearwater Beach, Fla. Beachgoers are trying to keep a safe distance from each other by keeping a space of 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) between family groups to help protect from the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

New rules for Broward County’s imminent reopening would require that salons, restaurants and stores limit their number of customers or get fined.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that the county would learn “very soon” if businesses can partially reopen this Monday, May 18.

A draft of the county’s plan obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel restricts groups to no more than 10 people.

The draft plan allows for “professional services and other businesses located in multi-business office buildings in Broward County [to] continue normal operations,” but does not allow public access unless the business is considered “essential.”

“Whenever feasible,” the plan also encourages employees to “telework or establish a rotation or staggered schedule to reduce the number of employees working on site.”

When working on site, people must wear masks when they are within six feet of someone else.

In addition, businesses are advised to “develop a plan for monitoring your employees’ health, with a particular focus on COVID-19 symptoms, with the goal of preventing ill employees from working.”

Broward officials had not sent a formal letter regarding the reopening plans to DeSantis as of Wednesday afternoon.

However, the governor said at a news conference that he plans to decide soon whether the county could reopen. “Broward has definitely trended well,” DeSantis said regarding recent reductions in the numbers of people becoming infected with COVID-19.

Despite the potential Monday reopening, Broward’s beaches will remain closed until further notice.

Violators to the new rules in Broward could face fines of up to $500 per violation.

Commissioner Mark Bogen says the county is expecting the governor to approve the plan, which is still being finalized, “quickly. And we’ll be moving forward quickly.”

Miami-Dade officials are also trying to reopen some businesses in they county by this Monday. On Wednesday, the city of Miami announced it plans to open some of its businesses starting May 20.