As Gov. Ron DeSantis finished a press conference where he outlined next steps to reopen Florida, Jacksonville’s mayor promised local action.
Mayor Lenny Curry, the second-term Republican helming Duval County, has been yoked to the Governor throughout much of this crisis.
And as restrictions on commerce and movement relax as mass contagion fears fade, Curry said Jacksonville is ready to go.
“Starting this evening, my administration will review the statewide guidance to ensure our local orders remain in synch with this plan. I will provide further updates and guidance on local policies beginning tomorrow,” Curry said.
Curry lauded the plan put forth by the Reopen Florida Task Force, of which he was a contributor.
“The plan lays out a phased approach that is safe, smart, and ready to guide us, step-by-step, back to the life we knew before the virus. This plan, working in conjunction with national guidance from President Trump, will allow our city and every community in Florida to get back to life as we knew it just months ago,” Curry said.
“As part of a statewide group of advisors to Governor DeSantis, I have watched him lead Florida through this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. His leadership has protected our people and minimized the tragic outcomes in other large states.
“In response to this virus,” Curry said, “Governor DeSantis acted and prevented those numbers from being much worse.”
Some officials have complained of a lack of access to DeSantis, but Curry is not one of them. The Mayor said the administration is “taking action every day in Jacksonville by expanding testing, protecting our most vulnerable, distributing protective equipment to those heroic medical emergency workers, and setting out a roadmap for opening our state.”
Jacksonville moved forward with relaxing some restrictions already, with the new rules in place next week.
Beaches, currently open for seven hours a day, will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. starting May 4. Users must be “participating in recreational activities consistent with social distancing guidelines such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, taking care of pets and surfing.”
Meanwhile, Jacksonville and the Beaches are ready to receive travelers.
May 4 also sees the lifting of restrictions on lodging.
Hotels can begin taking reservations on that date.
The city is ready to relax restrictions on vacation rentals, contingent on the Governor lifting a statewide temporary ban on them.