Bars to close for 30 days; Restaurants must limit customers to 50 percent normal capacity

TALLAHASSEE — Bars in Florida will close at 5 p.m. tonight and stay closed for the next 30 days, by order of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In a Tuesday press conference, Gov. DeSantis said the president and his team issued a new guidance from the CDC calling for a 15-day plan on Monday.

“We look at that hard and tried to determine the best course of action to take in Florida,” he said. “We don’t want large crowds of people congregating right now.”

The governor said he is also recommending that all Florida universities use remote learning for the rest of the spring semester.

“The goal of that is the students not stay congregated on campus, but actually return home. We think that will be safer for everybody,” he said.

The governor also ordered a 50 percent capacity limitation for restaurants, with seating staggered and limited to ensure the seated parties are separated by a distance of at least 6 feet.

“We are going to encourage people to utilize takeout and delivery services. We are also going to require that the restaurants screen all employees and prohibit entry for employees who have a positive response to any of the trigger questions from the Department of Health,” Gov. DeSantis continued.

The governor said some cities, like Miami, may impose even stricter restrictions.

He said anything that attracts large crowds is a problem because “stealth carriers — people who don’t have symptoms — could be passing along the virus. If they are not meeting in those big groups, the chance of that being passed on is less.”

The state will apply CDC guidelines, asking the public to use the beach in groups of no more than 10 people and to stay 6 feet apart. The governor said some cities and counties have closed beaches completely, due to large groups gathering on public beaches. The local governments have the jurisdiction to make local requirements stricter than the state rules, he said.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment