Frequently Asked Questions

Emergency Order 20-17

1. What is open in Broward County?

Generally speaking, except for specific types of businesses that must remain closed (see FAQ # 2 below), Emergency Orders 20-12, 20-13, 20-14, 20-15, 20-16, and 20-17 (collectively "Reopening Orders") allow most businesses, establishments, and amenities in Broward County (collectively "establishments") to resume operations subject to the restrictions in the Reopening Orders and the attachments thereto. The Reopening Orders supersede any contrary provision in any prior Broward County Emergency Order.

2. What is closed in Broward County?

The establishments that must remain closed at this time are:

  1. Bars, pubs, night clubs, banquet halls, cocktail lounges, cabarets, and breweries, except for food take-out or delivery services;
  2. Hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms;

3. What rules apply for establishments that are reopening?

All establishments must comply with the restrictions in Attachment 1, such as sanitation requirements and enforcing facial coverings and social distancing. Specific uses must also comply with the applicable attachments, as follows:

Attachment 1: General Requirements for All Establishments

Attachment 2: Restaurants and Food Establishments

Attachment 3: Retail Establishments

Attachment 4: Personal Services

Attachment 5: Movie Theaters

Attachment 6: Community Rooms, Fitness Centers, and Gyms in Housing Developments

Attachment 7: Museums

Attachment 8: Parks in Broward County Limited Reopening Guidelines

Attachment 9: Boating and Marine Activities Requirements

Attachment 10: Golf Course Limited Reopening Requirements

Attachment 11: Pool Decks, Pools, And Other Residential Recreational Amenities In Housing Developments

Attachment 12: Public Community Pools and Private Club Pools

Attachment 13: Hotels, Motels, and Commercial Lodging Establishments

Attachment 14: Commercial Gyms and Fitness Centers

Attachment 15: Beaches in Broward County Limited Reopening Guidelines

Attachment 16: Youth Activities and Summer Caps

Attachment 17: Bowling Alleys, Arcades, and Indoor Amusement Facilities

Attachment 18: Vacation Rentals

In addition, certain establishments such as pari-mutuel facilities, concert halls, playhouses, and auditoriums, must submit and receive approval of reopening plans (see FAQ # 25 & 26 below).

Reopened Business are Required to Post Signs

Pursuant to Broward County Emergency Order 20-17, restaurants and food establishments are required to post a sign available in EnglishSpanish and Creole, and retail facilities are required to post a sign available in EnglishSpanish and Creole. These signs must be at least 8 ½ x 11 in size and printed in color when possible. Signs must be conspicuously posted throughout the establishment and at all entry points. There must be at least one sign in each language throughout the establishment.

4. Social Distancing: When do the social distancing requirements apply?

Whenever you are outside of your home, you should keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and any person who does not live in your household or is not part of your group.

5. Facial Coverings: Who has to wear them and when?

For detailed information regarding facial coverings, please visit the County's Frequently Asked Questions on facial coverings available here.

6. May municipalities impose additional, stricter limitations?

Yes. Municipalities may have stricter limitations than the County. Municipalities may also relax certain outdoor seating code restrictions to allow restaurants to expand their outdoor seating areas. Except as expressly allowed, municipalities may not relax the requirements of any Broward County Emergency Order or open any business that is expressly closed by any Broward County Emergency Order.

7. Must the owner of an establishment be present to ensure compliance with the guidelines set forth in the County's emergency orders?

No, the owner is not required to be present, but the business is only permitted to operate in compliance with the applicable guidelines, which may require designated personnel to be on site to ensure such compliance. Prior to opening, the business must have established protocols to ensure compliance with all applicable requirements.

8. Are all gyms and fitness centers allowed to open?

Yes, subject to the limitations of EO 20-12, as amended, and any applicable attachments thereto, including Attachment 1 and Attachment 14.

9. Are establishments required to open?

No. While most establishments are permitted to open subject to requirements, establishments are not required to open. Other considerations may influence whether a business determines it can safely reopen. Please contact establishments directly for more information.

10. What are the current restaurant occupancy limits?

Indoor seating areas are limited to 50% maximum capacity of the establishment. The combined total number of persons present in the indoor and outdoor areas must not exceed the combined total maximum capacity of the restaurant. For example, if a restaurant capacity limit is 100 patrons, the restaurant can sit 50 patrons indoors and 50 patrons outdoors, or 30 patrons indoors and 70 patrons outdoors. All tables and chairs, whether indoor or outdoor, shall be at least six feet apart between parties (at their closest point); bar counters shall remain closed to seating. Patrons are prohibited from congregating at the bar counters or elsewhere. Parties shall be limited to no more than ten (10) persons. Per the Governor's Executive Order 20-123, workers are excluded from the calculations.

11. Do occupancy limits apply to businesses that were already operating prior to Broward County entering Phase 1?

No. Businesses that were allowed to operate prior to May 18, 2020, may continue to operate without occupancy limitations.

12. Is the mall open? Is the food court at the mall open?

Retail establishments are permitted to open subject to a 50% occupancy limitation, in addition to all other requirements in Attachment 1 and Attachment 3, but are not required to open. Mall operators or individual stores may decide whether or not to open. Food courts at malls are permitted to reopen, subject to the limitations on restaurants and other food establishments found in Attachment 1 and Attachment 2. Please contact the retail establishment or food court establishment directly for more information on its status.

13. Are movie theaters open?

Yes, indoor movie theaters are open subject to the guidelines in Attachment 1, Attachment 5, and Attachment 17, as amended, and may only operate at 50% maximum capacity. Social distancing requirement must be followed except for persons within the same household. Drive-in movie theaters may operate subject to Attachment 1 and Attachment 5.

14. Are museums open?

Yes, museums may operate at a capacity of no more than 50% occupancy and must comply with Attachment 1 and Attachment 7. Retail space within any museum must comply with Attachment 3, while any food establishments must comply with Attachment 2.

15. May summer camps operate in Broward?

Yes. Organized youth activities, including youth sports teams and leagues, youth clubs and programs, summer camps, and youth recreation camps may operate in accordance with EO 20-12, as amended, including Attachment 1 and Attachment 16. Where a youth program or summer camp involves the use or visitation of a park or beach in Broward County, compliance with Attachment 8 or Attachment 15, as applicable, is also required. To the extent feasible, while visiting the park or beach, children in summer camps must remain in independent subgroups of no more than 10 people, including chaperones and camp counselors.

16. Are organized sports allowed? What about the ten-person limit at parks?

Organized sports, for adults and children alike, including but not limited to soccer, baseball, basketball, softball, hockey, and football, are now permitted at Parks in Broward County so long as the activity is part of an established athletic league or part of an organized program. Organized sports include practice sessions, drills, and tournaments, and are exempt from the park limitation restricting groups to no more than ten (10) people. Spectators are allowed subject to social distancing guidelines and all other applicable guidelines.

Tennis facilities, basketball courts, and other similar recreational amenities that are not located in Parks in Broward County may open as determined by the owner or operator of such facilities, provided the owner or operator ensures that the use of the facility is in full compliance with all applicable requirements of Attachment 1 and Attachment 8.

17. Are splash pads open? What about waterparks?

Splash pads and water parks are considered playgrounds for purposes of Attachment 8 and are, therefore, closed at this time.

18. Are beaches open?

Yes, subject to the limitations of Attachment 15.

19. Are pools open?

Yes. Pools and pool decks located in multi-family housing developments (HOA, condominium pools, etc.) may operate subject to the requirements in Attachment 11. No guests, other than family members (if authorized by the housing development), are permitted in multi-family housing development pools and pool decks. Pools in private clubs (YMCAs, JCC, yacht clubs, etc.), county or municipal pools, and pools that are part of a commercial gym or fitness facility or hotel, motel, or commercial lodging establishment may operate subject to the requirements in of EO 20‑12. Attachment 12.

Aquatic programs must be limited as to class size to meet the ten foot distance requirement in Attachment 14; in lap lanes, the ten-foot requirement is deemed met while swimming laps provided no more than one person is using a lane at any time. Lap lane sharing is prohibited.

Any particular pool may choose to remain closed, and the decision to reopen may be subject to internal rules or regulations of that establishment or organization. For more information about the status of a pool located at any of the above-mentioned establishments, please reach out directly to the owner, operator, property manager, or governing board of such establishment.

20. Are pet groomers allowed to open?

Yes. All establishments except those outlined in Section 2 of EO 20-12, as amended, may resume operations subject to any applicable guidelines, including Attachment 1.

21. Are dog parks open?

Yes. Dog parks located in parks may operate consistent with the applicable requirements in Attachment 8.

22. Are spas/massage establishments allowed to open? What about spas in hotels?

Yes, spas and massage establishments, irrespective of their location, may operate, subject to the limitations of Attachment 1, Attachment 3 (for retail sales), and Attachment 4 (for personal services). Spa operators may allow their patrons to use hotel pools or other similar amenities subject to the limitations of Attachment 12.

23. Are tattoo parlors open?

Yes, tattoo parlors may resume operations subject to Attachment 1 and Attachment 4.

24. Are community centers and recreation centers located inside Parks in Broward County allowed to operate?

Yes, community centers/recreation centers located inside Parks in Broward County may resume operations subject to Attachment 8. ​

25. Are pari-mutuels open?

Pari-mutuel facilities may open but only to the extent they have (1) submitted a reopening and operation plan for COVID-19 mitigation and sanitation ("Pari-Mutuel Plan") to the County Administrator, (2) received written approval of that Pari-mutuel Plan from the County Administrator and state approval by the Department of Business Regulation, and (3) operate in conformance with the approved Pari-Mutuel Plan. Plans must be submitted to the following email address:

26. Are concert houses, auditoriums, and playhouses open?

Concert houses, auditoriums, and playhouses may open provided that such establishments have (1) submitted a reopening and operation plan for COVID-19 mitigation and sanitation to the County Administrator, (2) received written approval from the County Administrator, and (3) operate in conformance with the approved plan. Plans must be submitted to the following email address:

27. Are realtors and other real estate related businesses allowed to operate?

Yes, residential and commercial real estate services were permitted services under the Governor's Executive Order 20-91, and are allowed to operate, including in-person showings, inspections, and closings, provided they operate in accordance with Broward County Emergency Order 20-12, including Attachment 1 and the CDC guidelines on social distancing and facial coverings.

28. Can places of worship open?

Religious organizations continue to be strongly urged to follow CDC Guidelines, including the use of facial coverings, and to limit their gatherings to groups of no more than ten (10) people. However, there are no restrictions on religious services under the current orders.

29. Are hotels open in Broward County? What about vacation rentals?

Hotels, motels, and commercial lodging establishments may operate subject to the limitations of Attachment 1 and Attachment 14. Specific uses within the hotels must comply with the applicable attachments, such as restaurants (Attachment 2), retail (Attachment 3), and pools (Attachment 12). Vacation rentals may resume operations in compliance with Attachment 18.

30. What are the consequences of violating an Emergency Order? How do I report a violation of the Emergency Orders?

Violation of an Emergency Order is a second-degree misdemeanor subject to fines up to $500 per violation, imprisonment up to 60 days, or both. [Section 8-56, Broward County Code of Ordinances] If you know or suspect that a particular establishment is in violation of an applicable order, you should report the suspected violation to 311 or to the applicable local municipal code enforcement. These penalties may be imposed upon an individual as well as an establishment.

31. How can I contact the County if I have any questions or comments about COVID-19 or the County's Emergency Orders?

Call the COVID-19 Hotline at (954) 357-9500.

Last updated: June 15, 2020.