ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday that the state is moving into full phase 3 reopening, and he is lifting all capacity restrictions on restaurants, effective immediately.
DeSantis made the announcement Friday during a news conference at a St. Petersburg hotel.
“I think that this will be very, very important to the industry,” DeSantis said. “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.”
Statewide, there will also be a suspension of collecting fines or fees for restrictions like not wearing a mask, DeSantis said.
“I think we need to get away from trying to penalize people for social distancing and just work with people, constructively.”
- Removes state-level restrictions on businesses, such as restaurants.
- Provides that no COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or operating a business, giving Floridians and business owners needed certainty and the ability to provide for themselves and their families.
- Provides that restaurants may not be limited by a COVID-19 emergency order by any local government to less than 50% of their indoor capacity. If a restaurant is limited to less than 100% of its indoor capacity, such COVID-19 emergency order must satisfy the following:
- Quantify the economic impact of each limitation or requirements on those restaurants; and
- Explain why each limitation or requirement is necessary for public health.
- Suspends all outstanding fines and penalties, and the collection of such moving forward, applied against individuals related to COVID-19.
Watch the full press conference here: