COVID-19 continues to limit much of the country to drive-in performances and smaller, regional events as the live music community turns its sights toward the summer months. As socially-distanced concerts begin taking place with mixed reactions in states like Arkansas, Florida now looks to be one of the latest U.S. states to begin welcoming fans and paying customers back into places of public business in hopes of restarting local economies.
As the Orlando Sentinel reports, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gave the green light for businesses including bars, movie theaters, concert venues in 64 counties to reopen this Friday (June 5th) as part of the state’s “Phase 2” of the reopening process. The Executive Order, however, does not apply to Florida’s three hardest-hit counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.
According to the order, bars may welcome patrons at up to 50 percent capacity indoors and full capacity in an outdoor setting, but tables must remain six feet apart. Concert venues, along with movie theaters and bowling alleys, will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity and must also abide by social distancing restrictions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to advise businesses and the public to avoid being part of groups larger than 50.
“The virus isn’t gone,” DeSantis mentioned with Wednesday’s announcement. “I think it’s really really important to continue to stress for people 65 or older … and/or with underlying medical conditions, [that they] are strongly encouraged to avoid crowds and to take measures to limit the risk of exposure.”
Essentially all national tours and large music festivals planned for summer remain canceled or postponed, but bands like Aqueous and Spafford have begun to take advantage of the growing “Drive-In Concert” trend in some states, while other acts are getting creative to put on “virtual” summer tours.
[H/T Orlando Sentinel]