ORLANDO, Fla. — Whether we like it or not, COVID-19 is going to stay around for a while. That means we have to adjust for the long-term. Almost everything we do in public is affected.© Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/TNS People walk, shop, and dine, on Park Avenue in Winter Park, on May 5, 2021.
Florida businesses are not allowed to make being vaccinated a condition of entry, with the exception of health care facilities. Some businesses have instituted rules about masking and social distancing, but for the most part, we’re on our own.
Here are the rules at some of Florida’s gathering places and how you can safely maintain your connections with the world outside your house as COVID-19 maintains its hold on our lives for the immediate future.
Many of the major performing arts centers in the state came together and agreed on a consistent policy: Entry is only for those who are fully vaccinated or can show proof of a negative test for COVID-19.
That includes the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami and these three sites in Orlando: the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando Shakes and the Plaza Live. Masks are required at all these venues.
You may see ushers telling patrons to put their masks back on, even during performances. Smaller theaters may have different rules, so check before you go.
Several performance halls are being investigated as potential violators of the state’s COVID-19 “vaccine passport” law, including the Kravis Center, the Broward Center, Dr. Phillips, Plaza Live and Orlando Shakes. The venues say their safety protocols were developed with a close eye to Florida’s laws, and it’s unclear whether the halls will ultimately be fined for non-compliance.
As for movie theaters, check their websites to see their policies. IPIC theaters require masks of all patrons and staff, but Regal theaters don’t require them unless mandated by a local government.
You will see many mask-less people in Florida grocery stores and supermarkets. The businesses have made an effort to keep their stores super-clean, but many shoppers still prefer to have their groceries delivered, unwilling to risk exposure to COVID-19 from their fellow patrons or store employees.
Several retailers have issued orders in the past few months requiring their staff to wear masks, including Publix, Walmart, Home Depot and CVS.
There are several ways you can add a measure of safety to your shopping experience. Besides wearing a face covering, go early in the morning or late at night when there are fewer customers, and stay a few feet away from your fellow shoppers. Wipe down your grocery cart with a disinfectant, and sanitize your hands when you leave the store. Then wash your hands again when you get home.
Restaurants are open to full capacity, if they can staff the tables. Many workers have decided they no longer want the low food-industry wages and difficult patrons Florida is famous for. That means many tables stay empty because there are not enough servers, allowing for unintentional social distancing.
A full, indoor restaurant falls into what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts in the “highest risk” category of COVID-19 spread, defined as: “On-site dining with indoor seating. Seating capacity not reduced and tables not spaced at least 6 feet apart.”
It’s up to restaurants whether they want their employees to be masked. As a customer, you may be the only person in a restaurant wearing a mask to your table, and establishments will not ask if you’re vaccinated as a condition of admission, as that’s against the law in Florida.
Outdoor seating, where virus transmission is less likely, is at a premium at many restaurants, especially as Florida’s weather cools with the approaching winter. Call ahead to reserve an exterior table and ask if the restaurant has a ventilation system, physical barriers between tables, a mask-wearing policy and social distancing rules.
At Miami Heat games, everyone over age 2 has to wear a mask, and if you’re seated within 15 feet of the court, you have to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test. Tickets are mobile-only. Compliance with the rules is strictly enforced, according to the Heat: “If a guest violates any health and safety rules, the guest may be denied entry to or ejected from the arena. Guests who violate the rules or otherwise engage in conduct that causes a risk to health and safety may also be subject to a ban.”
At Orlando Magic games, face coverings are “encouraged,” unless you’re seated in the front row or within 15 feet of player benches or the scorer’s table; then they’re required. Orlando City and Orlando Pride soccer is at full capacity at Exploria Stadium with masks recommended.
Florida State University’s Doak Campbell Stadium is expected to be 100% full (capacity was set at 20% last year) and football fans are asked to wear masks. The Miami Dolphins and University of Miami Hurricanes are also welcoming full stadiums and only unvaccinated staff members are required to mask up. Masks are recommended for unvaccinated fans, and for everyone while indoors.
Mask rules have changed frequently at Florida’s theme parks. Earlier in the pandemic, all the parks conducted temperature checks; those have been discarded, as have ground stickers that made sure people stayed a few feet apart in line. Social distancing is encouraged, mostly by PA announcements.
At Walt Disney World, masks are required for ages 2 and up on attractions, transportation and while indoors, but they’re optional outside. They’re recommended while indoors at SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Studios.
At Disney World and SeaWorld, day-specific/park-specific reservations are required in addition to the usual admission ticket or pass. The reservations are made via the company websites (DisneyWorld.com or SeaWorldOrlando.com) or their official apps.
Mobile check-in for restaurants is now standard, and it keeps customers from bunching up inside. At Disney World, you can use the My Disney Experience app to order food and pick it up at a restaurant window. Disney also asks that visitors forego cash and use credit cards or mobile payment apps.
Disney has ordered its unionized employees to get vaccinated. Neither SeaWorld nor Universal has announced mandatory vaccination plans for employees, but on July 31, Universal employees began wearing masks if they work with guests indoors.
Be kind to theme park workers; they have taken a lot of abuse for enforcing mask and social-distancing rules during COVID-19.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/here-are-covid-19-rules-or-lack-thereof-at-florida-theaters-supermarkets-restaurants-sports-venues-and-theme-parks/ar-AAPVfhi1352