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Governor DeSantis Unveils Plan to Reopen Florida's Economy

April 30, 2020

By: Ferran Arimon, Nicole Cuccaro & Amanda Wilson

On Wednesday, April 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled a step-by-step plan to reopen Florida’s economy. DeSantis announced his plan just as the state’s stay-at-home order is set to expire today, April 30.

The plan will go into effect starting Monday, May 4, and will apply across the state, with the exception of Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties – where the majority of the state’s COVID-19 cases have been reported. However, DeSantis did state that he expects those counties excluded from the reopening plan to enter phase one of the plan “soon.”

Several local leaders around the state have indicated a willingness to tighten local restrictions if they feel DeSantis’ plan will put their residents in danger.  

DeSantis stated that the three-phase plan will closely follow White House guidelines under Trump’s reopening America plan.

Under phase one, beginning Monday, retail stores and restaurants will be permitted to reopen and operate at 25% capacity. Eateries will also be permitted to seat people outside, provided they abide by the 6-foot social distancing guidelines. DeSantis reiterated that all “face-to-face” business should be conducted with masks. 

In addition to the partial reopening of restaurants and eateries, under the governor’s plan, all parts of Florida may resume elective surgeries.

DeSantis provided no timeline for the reopening of bars, theaters, sports arenas, barbershops and gyms – stating that he will look to see what happens in other states before providing a timeline for the reopening of such businesses.

Further, schools will remain closed for the time being, and there will still be a ban on nursing home visits. 

Per Trump’s reopening America plan, phase two would see the reopening of schools and further loosening of restrictions, and phase three – “the new normal” – would include the reopening of most establishments with limited protocol.

As justification for beginning to reopen the state’s economy, DeSantis emphasized that 36.5% of ICU beds in the state are empty – indicating that Florida has successfully “flattened the curve.”

For more details about Phase One of the plan, click here.

Be sure to visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center to keep up to date on the latest news.

This article is informational only. You should consult an attorney before acting or failing to act. The law may change rapidly and no warranty is given. LOWNDES DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALL ARTICLES ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. Consult a Lowndes attorney if you wish to establish an attorney/client relationship.

Nicole Cuccaro concentrates her practice on real estate transactions, real estate development and commercial leasing. She assists a wide range of clients with the acquisition, disposition, leasing and financing of commercial real estate in the retail and hospitality industries.

Before she focusing her practice in the area of real estate law, Nicole handled a variety of commercial and corporate litigation matters and regularly represented lenders and business entities.


A member of the firm’s tax practice, Amanda Wilson concentrates on federal tax planning and structuring. She represents clients in a wide variety of complex federal tax matters with a particular emphasis on pass-through entities such as partnerships, S corporations and real estate investment trusts.

Specifically, Amanda focuses on advising clients on the formation, operation, acquisition and restructuring of such pass-through entities. In addition, she regularly advises clients on the structuring and operation of private equity funds, real estate funds and timber funds. Amanda is the author of the Bloomberg Tax Management Portfolio 718-3rd Edition, Partnerships- Disposition of Partnership Interests or Partnership Business; Partnership Termination.

Amanda regularly works in structuring deals to benefit from tax advantaged structures, including like-kind exchanges, new market tax credits, low income housing tax credits, qualified opportunity zones, and investment tax credits available for solar and other renewable energy. Amanda also has extensive experience in corporate planning and international tax matters, as well as federal tax controversy. Her practice before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) includes providing advice on audits and appeals, drafting protests and ruling requests, and negotiating settlements.

Prior to joining the firm, Amanda worked for Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP (now Eversheds Sutherland), an Am Law 100 firm in the Atlanta office, where she was part of Sutherland’s Tax Practice Group. Amanda has also served as an adjunct professor at Emory University School of Law where she taught Partnership Taxation.

Amanda regularly contributes to the firm’s Taxing Times blog and is a regular panelist on tax webinars hosted by Strafford Publications.

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