Emergency Policy Group aligns Hillsborough County reopening with state's phase one plans

The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group met Monday as it continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic in the Bay Area and the state's phase one reopening measures.

Gyms and fitness centers were among the businesses allowed to open their doors Monday after more than a month of being forced to remain closed. There are restrictions, however, including social distancing and the max capacity allowed inside.

Last week, restaurants and retails stores reopened under similar restrictions. This week, they are allowed to increase their capacity to accommodate more customers at one time.

Members of the EPG said it has aligned Hillsborough County's COVID-19 plans with the sate's Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery, including:

-Gyms and fitness centers are permitted to reopen at 50% of their building occupancy with social distancing in place and sanitization after each use of equipment.
-Restaurants and food establishments may increase indoor service to 50% of seating capacity. However, bar counters remain closed to seating. 
-Establishments must maintain social distancing in the seating and service of patrons in all areas of the restaurant, including a minimum of six feet between parties or use of a hard-surface partition that appropriately separates parties.
-The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation provides mandatory measures and best practices. The State also provides a helpful FAQ document with additional details at myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/emergency.
-Retail sales establishments may operate at 50% of their building occupancy in concurrence with safety guidelines issued by the CDC and OSHA.
-Museums may expand admissions to 50% of their building occupancy.
-Professional sports venues may open and operate for games, events, and training.
-Amusement parks may submit a plan for reopening to the State.

MORE: 'Just like Christmas:' Gyms across Florida reopen under 'full phase one' plan

EPG members also voted Monday to scale back their twice-weekly meetings to once per week, on Thursdays at 1:30 p.m.The next EPG meeting is scheduled for May 21.

Watch the full meeting on Facebook