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Florida, Ohio, Indiana among states lifting lockdown restrictions Monday

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May 4 (UPI) — Florida, Ohio and Indiana are among more states that are instituting eased coronavirus-related restrictions beginning Monday.

Restaurants and retail businesses in Florida are allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity on Monday, as part of the first phase of a plan announced last week by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The plan does not apply, however, to the three counties of the Miami metropolitan area — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.

Fitness centers and bars, however, are not among the businesses that can reopen anywhere in the state.

Also, state parks, including some with beach access, will begin reopening with some restrictions on Monday. They will have limited facilities while those connected to beaches will allow active recreation only, such as walking, jogging, swimming and fishing. Sunbathing, chairs, canopies or coolers will not be allowed.

DeSantis was in Daytona Beach on Sunday to meet with health officials and discuss the possibility of allowing hospitals to resume elective surgeries.

In Ohio, manufacturing, distribution, construction and office work returns Monday under a multistage reopening plan announced last month by Gov. Mike DeWine.

There are a series of social distancing guidelines, however, that include at least six feet of space between people, mandatory face coverings, required hand washing, easily available hand sanitizer and staggered arrival of employees and guests.

In offices, employers must limit capacity to less than what is allowed under local fire codes.

In South Carolina, the state’s mandatory stay-at-home order expires Monday under a timetable announced last week by Gov. Henry McMaster.

The governor is also allowing restaurants across the state to provide outdoor dining in addition to takeout, curbside and delivery service. McMaster is also lifting an order requiring travelers entering the state from “hotspots” to self-quarantine for two weeks.

McMaster and state epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell, however, urge anyone considered to be at-risk to limit exposure to others.

In Indiana, the second part of a five-stage reopening plan begins for most of the state.

In the initial step, underway since mid-March, essential businesses and services were allowed to open. In the second phase, social gatherings are allowed to increase to 25 people in most counties, while those age 65 and older or those at increased risk are encouraged to remain home as much as possible.

Three Indiana counties — including Marion County, which encompasses Indianapolis — will institute the second stage at later dates under orders Friday by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

In most of the state, manufacturers, industrial and other infrastructure operations that weren’t considered essential may open beginning Monday, while retail and commercial businesses may open at 50 percent capacity.

Restaurants and bars that serve food may open starting May 11 at 50 percent capacity, but bar seating will remain closed.

Stay-home orders draw demonstrations in Ohio, D.C., N.Y.

Protesters rally against Ohio’s restrictions on public gatherings ahead of Gov. Mike DeWine’s press briefing on Friday. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

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