Florida moves to Phase 3 and restrictions on bars and restaurants are lifted

DORAL, FL – Florida moves to Phase 3 of reopening after Governor Ron DeSantis said he will be signing an executive order.

This means now all statewide restrictions on bars and restaurants will be removed. According to News 4 Jax, the new measure orders a right to work and operate a business so local governments cannot close businesses, although they can still limit their operations. 

Regardless of this, is at the businesses’s discretion to operate or not with any self-imposed restrictions under the order. For instance, a restaurant may decide not to open the dining room at all, or to do it at 25% capacity.

“I think that this will be very, very important to the industry… The order that I’m signing today will guarantee restaurants can operate and will not allow closures. They can operate at a minimum of 50%, regardless of local rule,” said DeSantis while also announcing the changes will go into effect immediately. 

In addition, there will also be a suspension of collecting fines or fees for restrictions like not wearing a mask, according to DeSantis.

In Miami-Dade, according to Mayor Carlos Gimenez, they could continue enforcing mask rules in businesses but the countywide rule on facial coverings for all public places is not as certain. 

“We will have to speak to our attorneys about ability to enforce individual fines,” he said, as reported by the Miami Herald.

But all this doesn’t mean the pandemic it’s over. Governor was very clear in explaining Florida could see a second wave of cases.

“People shouldn’t think it’s over. They shouldn’t think it’s done. We could easily see a resurgence. I don’t think anybody knows,” said DeSantis.

Since there was a COVID-19 outbreak, the governor closed all bars and nightclubs, and restricted restaurants to take-out dining for months. Now the state’s number of new infections have steadily declined, which is why Florida moves to Phase 3. 

Miami-Dade restaurants are already allowed to operate half-full dining rooms, and Gimenez said recently he’s close to allowing bars to reopen as long as patrons remain seated.

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