Gov. DeSantis lifts restrictions on youth sports, other organized youth activities

YOUTH SPORTS and other organized youth activities are no longer subject to state restrictions related to COVID-19, following a May 22 executive order by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. (Photo by Dotty Nist)

By DOTTY NIST

A May 22 executive order by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has provided for the lifting of COVID-19-related state restrictions on youth sports teams and leagues and other organized youth activities.

Executive Order (EO) 2020-131 states, in part: “Organized youth activities may operate, including youth sports teams and leagues, youth clubs and programs, and child care.”

The executive order also directs that summer camps and youth recreation camps may now operate, “including but not limited to” camps defined in Florida Statutes Sections 409.175 and 513.02. These statutes refer to recreational camps, summer day camps for children five years old or older before Sept. 1, and summer 24-hour camps that are “not exclusively educational,” for children five years old or older before Sept. 1.

EO 2020-131 extends and amends Gov. DeSantis’s May 15 executive order, EO 2020-123, which he stated brought all Florida counties into “Full Phase 1” of what is known as the “Safe, Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery” from COVID-19.

EO 2020-123 allowed, with conditions, for gyms to reopen at 50 percent of building capacity, provided for restaurants to expand indoor seating from 25 percent to 50 percent of customer seating capacity, provided for retail sales areas at stores from to expand from 25 percent to 50 percent of building occupancy, and allowed professional sports to resume operation with hosting of training, competitions, events and games, among other measures included in the order.

EO 2020-131 took effect immediately.

While the new executive order lifts state restrictions, it leaves the door open for local areas to apply their own restrictions on youth sports and other organized youth activities.

Gov. DeSantis’s 2020 executive orders may be viewed online at https://www.flgov.com/2020-executive-orders/