Pinellas County Opens Movie Theaters & Bowling Alleys

May 19, 2020

By: Staff Report

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and County Administrator Barry Burton released their own guidance for the Full Phase One Opening on Monday during a live stream.

“We’re reading the order and the order says we’re in a full Phase One. Nothing within the order restricted movie theaters. It didn’t restrict bowling alleys either,” County Administrator Barry Burton said during a live stream on Monday. “All we can do is interpret the order and apply the order.”

Governor Ron DeSantis, during a press conference last week, stated that he wasn’t ready for movie theaters to open with Phase One. However the way that Phase One for Florida is written, it doesn’t specifically say that movie theaters and bowling alleys cant reopen.

“I think the only thing we’re not doing that the president’s guidelines permitted were the movie theaters,” DeSantis said. “I’m not saying that we’re never going to do that but I believe, and I’ve been a broken record on this, when you’re in an enclosed indoor environment the virus is just more transmissible.

“How you would socially distance in there — and I’m not saying it can’t be done — but I would probably need a little bit more information before I pull the trigger on that,” said Desantis.

The 3-page order is here.

“But that was what we heard the governor say at his press conference. It didn’t come out in the order, and all we can do is interpret the order and apply the order,” said Burton.

“The order was real clear under a Phase One, movie theaters, bowling alleys, those types of venues are allowed to operate using the 50-percent capacity and the social distancing requirements.”

Pinellas County’s latest guidance allows the following businesses to operate at 50-percent capacity under Phase One reopening rules, but large spectator sports can operate at 25-percent capacity. All must adhere to CDC recommended social distancing.

  • Restaurants and food establishments
  • Retail sales
  • Museums/libraries
  • Gyms/fitness center
  • Personal services businesses
  • Professional sports (but at 25-percent capacity)
  • Recreation and large venues

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