This interview took place in June 2021.
Florida removed the state mask mandate fairly early, but our county had a mask mandate until the early spring. Masks were mandated within most private businesses.
Outside of the Disney World parks, outdoor masking has been nearly non-existent. Indoor compliance was very high, mostly in line with the requests from private businesses, but fell off as the CDC made the announcement that vaccinated people could go maskless, at which point the signs came down and compliance fell apart.
Schools closed down in March and came back in the beginning of August (the start of the school year). There wasn’t really a big difference between public schools and private schools, although private schools were able to choose whether or not students should attend classes masked.
There were occasional quarantines for COVID cases in schools but it was class-by-class rather than the entire school.
Most restaurants closed completely and switched to takeout in April. They shifted to outdoor dining in the summer of 2020. From there, they shifted to 25% capacity and, as of September 2020, restaurants were back to full capacity.
The Catholic church that my family attends has just recently re-opened. The restrictions on religious gatherings have not come from the state level but have been something that the individual churches have voluntarily implemented.
I don’t know much about movie theaters, but live performances have recently reopened and we’ve had a number of very large entertainment gatherings recently. The Super Bowl took place in Florida and that brought in a lot of fans. Beaches have been open pretty much since the beginning with minimal restrictions.
There was a very serious lockdown in England. My parents weren’t even allowed to drive out of their house to see other family. Technically, they weren’t supposed to even greet the Amazon employee delivering their goods. Restaurants in the UK have only just (in the last month or so) re-opened. But there was a 3 month span of time when they didn’t see anyone at all.
I travelled to England 3 weeks ago and the process was remarkable. I had to take a COVID test before I left. I had to book a COVID test on day 2 and day 8, even though I wasn’t going to be there on day 8. Even though I am fully vaccinated, I wasn’t allowed to leave my parent’s house. The government sent a policeman to make sure I was abiding by the quarantine. Going to England was filled with requirements and oversight, but coming back to the states was as simple as could be.