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Latest in Hillsborough County's Phase 1 Step-By-Step Reopening

Hillsborough County, FL - When asked about the Phase 1 reopening, Mike Merrill, Hillsborough County Administrator said, "My biggest message is we can't let up we can't give up the ground we've made because this is not the end this really is just sort of the middle." More decisions will be made by May 15th, 2020 about further decisions to reopen.

Conditional Reopening of Stores, Restaurant Seating in Hillsborough County Begins Today

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update No. 94

Hillsborough County, Fla. (May 4, 2020) – Change happens today (Monday, May 4) for employees and customers of restaurant and retail industries in Hillsborough County as careful, measured steps begin toward COVID-19 coronavirus recovery.

Hillsborough County emergency leaders have aligned the community's COVID-19 recovery with Phase 1 of Gov. Ron DeSantis' Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. today.  Previous state and Hillsborough safer-at-home orders are now rescinded. The Governor's new Executive Order still requires residents to limit personal interactions outside the home, but allows conditional reopening of certain activities, stores, restaurant seating, and some cultural facilities. The Governor's Executive Order 20-112 does not prevent local governments from being more restrictive. That gives Hillsborough emergency leaders the ability to take actions they deem necessary to protect the health and safety of our residents.

Beginning today in Hillsborough:

  • Restaurants may offer outdoor seating and indoor seating at 25% of building capacity. Restaurants must adopt appropriate social distancing measures.
  • In-store retail businesses are allowed to operate at 25% occupancy and must abide by CDC and OSHA safety guidelines.
  • Elective medical procedures may resume at hospital ambulatory surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental offices, orthodontic offices, endodontic offices and other health care offices that meet certain conditions.
  • Museums may open at 25% occupancy. Any components of museums that have interactive functions or exhibits, including child play areas, remain closed.
  • Schools continue distance learning.
  • Sporting venues may operate, but without spectators.

What remains closed:

  • Personal services such as hair and nail salons and barbershops
  • Bars, pubs, and nightclubs
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Movie theaters and concert halls
  • The prohibition on vacation rentals remains in effect.

Residents should continue to take these steps to safeguard themselves and others:

  • Seniors and individuals with a significant underlying medical condition are strongly encouraged to stay at home except when participating in essential activities and obtaining essential services and should take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • All individuals, when in public, should maximize physical distance from others.
  • Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing.
  • Cloth face coverings are recommended in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. grocery stores and pharmacies). A how to video on making face coverings can be found here as well as in Spanish.
  • To reduce risk, the Centers for Disease Control recommends washing hands often, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
  • Visits to nursing homes and long-term care facilities are prohibited.


For more information about Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery, including a list of frequently-asked questions, visit

Beginning, Monday, May 4, the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department has reopened all the following dog parks and dog beaches within the following parks:

  • Angus Goss Dog Park, 4601 N Central Ave, 33603
  • Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N Ashley Dr, 33602
  • Davis Islands Dog Park and Beach, 1002 Severn Ave, 33606
  • Deputy John Kotfila, Jr. Memorial Dog Park, 705 N. Raymond St, 33602
  • Gadsden Park, 6901 S MacDill Ave, 33611
  • Giddens Park, 5202 N 12th St, 33603
  • Herman Massey Park, 1002 N Franklin St, 33602
  • James Urbanski Dog Park at Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes Ave, 33614
  • Julian B Lane Riverfront Park, 1001 N Boulevard, 33607
  • New Tampa Rotary Dog Park, 17301 Commerce Park Blvd, 33647
  • Palma Ceia Park, 2200 Marti St, 33629
  • Picnic Island Dog Beach, 7409 Picnic Island Blvd, 33616
  • Rowlett Park, 2401 E Yukon St, 33604
  • Queenie's Dog Park at Waterworks Park, 1710 N. Highland Ave, 33602
  • Washington Street Park, 118 N 12th St, 33602

Any parking lots associated with the dog parks and beaches will be available. Dogs are not permitted to be unleased in the parking lot in route to or from the park. Residents will be required to follow social distancing guidelines.

Additionally, starting at 2 pm, Monday, May 4, City of Tampa beaches located at:

  • Ben T Davis Beach, 7740 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, 33607
  • Cypress Point Beach, 5620 W Cypress St, 33607
  • Davis Islands Beach, 864 Severn Ave, 33606
  • Picnic Island Beach, 7409 Picnic Island Blvd, 33616

Areas within these parks such as playgrounds, picnic areas, sports fields, and restrooms will remain closed. For more information, visit


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