Compliance Made Easy. Prioritize Workforce Safety. Return to Productivity. COVID-19 Safety Program.
Learn More
KPA Logo

There’s nowhere quite like Florida. The Sunshine State is a lush, diverse place teeming with natural splendor and economic opportunity. From bustling cities to quiet beaches, humid wetlands to luxury hotels, amusement parks to raceways to rocket launch pads, Florida has it all.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Florida also presents employers with greater-than-average operational challenges and regulatory risks. Extreme temperatures, unpredictable weather conditions, and a large concentration of specialized, dangerous industries—including construction, agriculture, maritime, and more—all mean serious potential for safety accidents and violations. Keep your workers safe and stay on the right side of the law with KPA’s EHs and workforce compliance resources.

Florida COVID-19 State Regulations

Below is a round-up of COVID-19 state regulations for employers navigating how to operate safely during the pandemic. If you believe there may be a discrepancy between a state and local order that affects you or your business, you should contact your local government and/or competent local counsel for further advice.


Governor Ron DeSantis announced that beginning May 4, 2020, Florida would enter into Phase I of its reopening plan. The complete plan can be found here.

Under Phase I, restaurants and retail stores may reopen at 25% occupancy limits, provided that 6 feet distances between people are maintained. Other non-essential businesses can reopen as long as they adhere to CDC and OSHA guidelines for sanitation, hygiene, and social distancing orders.

Counties may impose harsher restrictions; Miami-Dade, Browder, and Palm Beach counties will not be following the recent state order.

Update 9/25/20: Executive Order 20-244 was issued and took effect on September 25, 2020, to start of Phase III reopening. The Executive Order includes information for restaurants (they may not operate at less than 50% indoor capacity) and if they are operating at less than 100% indoor capacity they must meet certain requirements listed in the Order (page 2). Individual fines and penalties are suspended.

Update 9/21/2020: Executive Order 2020-223 was issued for Broward and Miami-Dade Counties to move to Phase II of reopening.

Update 9/8/20: Emergency Order 2020-213 issued on September 4, 2020, to extend the state of emergency for 60 days.

Update 8/28/20: Florida’s Public Health Emergency was renewed on August 28, 2020.

Update 7/10/20: Emergency Order 2020-09 was issued to suspend restaurants and bars from selling alcohol for consumption on their premises, indoor capacity is limited to 50% of seating occupancy, employees should be screened for COVID-19.

Update 6/4/20: Executive Order No. 20-139 was issued announcing the state’s move to Phase II, excepting Miami-Dade, Browder, and Palm Beach Counties which will need to follow county orders. Everyone is encouraged to socially distance. Business guidance is provided for several industries including restaurants and bars, entertainment businesses may open at 50% capacity and provided that health and safety requirements are followed. Personal care services may operate as long as they had adhere to the Department of Health guidelines. Additional information can be found in the Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery presentation.

Update 5/28/20: Executive Order 20-130, expands Phase I to reopen youth activities.

Update: Under Executive Order 2020-120, beginning May 18, 2020, cosmetologists, barbershops, and salons may reopen as long as they adhere to safety measures.

Under Executive Order 2020-123, effective May 18, 2020, Florida has now fully entered Phase I of reopening. Restaurants may operate dine-in services at 50% capacity. Retail businesses, museums, and gyms/fitness centers may also operate at 50% capacity. All businesses must adhere to safety and social distancing requirements. Professional sports venues may reopen. A Full Phase 1 factsheet was released to easily reference what may now reopen. Governor DeSantis also released the state reopening plan: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery.

Additional Resources

New: FAQs for Phase II of Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step

Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery Presentation

Plan for Florida’s Recovery Website

Executive Order 2020-123

Executive Order 2020-120

Executive Order 2020-112

Full Phase 1 factsheet

Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery

Florida Health

Florida COVID-19 Resources

Florida Executive Orders

Face Covering Mandate

On June 20, 2020, the Florida Department Of Health issued a public health advisory recommending all residents and visitors wear face coverings wherever social distancing isn’t possible to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some individuals may be exempt from wearing masks if they meet certain conditions. Everyone is also reminded to avoid gatherings of 50 people or more.

Employees and customers in personal care service businesses were already mandated to wear face coverings effective on May 11, 2020 on executive order 20-120.

Additional Resources

Florida Department of Health Public Health Advisory

Florida FAQs Related to Barbershops and Cosmetology Salons

Safer-At-Home Order

Who: Florida employers and employees

When: April 3, 2020 through April 30, 2020 (Extended to May 4, 2020)

What: Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order to limit Florida residents’ interactions and movements outside their homes to only essential services or activities. This new order takes the place of any local orders.

The defined “essential services” list references the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce as well as the businesses and services named in a previous Florida Executive Order 20-89 and the Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 07-20. The overarching categories of essential infrastructure include:

  • Health care operations
  • Infrastructure, transportation, and marine services including services like utilities, marinas, fueling services, and telecommunications
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail including things like pharmacies and convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, hardware and building supplies
  • Services like trash and recycling, mail, delivery and shipping, laundromats, building cleaning and maintenance, child care, auto repair, warehouses and distribution, funeral homes, retail that sells teleworking supplies, legal and accounting services
  • Media
  • Financial institutions
  • Human services and shelters
  • Construction and skilled trade
  • Defense
  • Safety services like law enforcement, emergency response
  • Pet care
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive and vehicle operations including auto supply and repair stores, new and used automotive dealerships (social distancing must be used)
  • Hardware stores and trades including exterminators, fumigators, pool care, landscaping, and contractors
  • Educational institutions
  • Logistics
  • Senior Care
  • Child care

Essential activities include attending religious events, participating in outdoor activities (as long as social distancing rules used), and caring for and helping pets, loved ones, and friends.

Additionally, the Governor issued an Executive Order that anyone who has traveled from Louisiana or New York tri-state area (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York) quarantine themselves for 14 days from the time they enter Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever time period is shorter.

Another Executive Order from Governor DeSantis requires all vulnerable populations, specifically anyone with an underlying condition or who is over the age of 65, to stay at home.


  • Determine if your business must close or whether you can send employees home to telework.
  • When you’ve developed a plan to respond to new regulations, consult with your legal counsel to ensure it’s compliant with the state rules.
  • Build a communication strategy to implement these changes in your workforce.
  • There may be potential discrepancies between state and local orders. If you believe there may be a discrepancy affecting you or your business, you should contact your local government and/or competent local counsel for further advice.

Additional Resources

Florida Health

Florida Public Health Advisory

Executive Order Number 20-80

Executive Order Number 20-83

Executive Order Number 20-91

CISA Guidance

Download the COVID-19 Operations Checklist

This checklist reviews the steps to create a thoughtful COVID-19 operating strategy.
Download Now

The Latest Florida Articles

States that Offer Workers Comp Reductions for Safety Programs

Your state might allow you to claim a discount on your workers’ comp expenses—but you need to have a good workplace safety program in place.
Read More
hand holding image of money bag

COVID-19 Response in the US: How Does Your State Rank?

A new report from the NSC’s Safe Actions for Employee Returns (SAFER) task force shows which states succeeded and faltered in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read More

OSHA’s Local Emphasis Programs and Programmed Inspections: What You Need to Know

Understanding OSHA’s Local Emphasis Programs is key to avoiding an inspection, and pricey penalties that follow. Here’s what you need to know.
Read More

Paint Stripping and Surface Coating Regulations: the NESHAP 6H Rule

Work with chemicals found in paint shops or plastic manufacturers? Here’s a quick primer on the 6H rule and what you can do to stay in compliance.
Read More

8 Ways to Avoid Heat Illness—While Preventing COVID-19 Infections

Here are some practical ways to plan for and prevent heat-related illnesses—while continuing to fight against COVID-19 infection in the workplace.
Read More

Hurricane Season Is Here: Get Ready for the Flood-Damaged Cars

Dealers F&I Compliance
Storms like Hurricane Florence not only threaten human life, but have all sorts of secondary consequences—like flood-damaged vehicle disclosures.
Read More
car driving through flood
Software: Mobile app Software: Point Solutions Services: Compliance Services Services: Workplace Health and Safety Services Services: Environmental Risk Management Services About: Leadership Software: Online Training About: Who We Are Resources: Library Industries: Automotive Industries: Distribution Industries: Food and Beverage Industries: Manufacturing Industries: Construction Industries: Energy Industries: Insurance Industries: Transportation Resources: Events and Webinars Resources: Blog YouTube Twitter LinkedIn