April 19, 2024


The Food community

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says restaurants can operate at max capacity

2 min read

More than 1,000 people come down with COVID-19 in Florida every day — but the state’s restaurants can now run at full capacity, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday.

DeSantis, a Republican and vocal President Trump supporter, issued an executive order immediately lifting the occupancy limit from 50%. The order also dictated that local authorities cannot force restaurants to serve below half-capacity indoors.

“We are today moving into what we initially called Phase Three, and what that will mean for the restaurants is that there will not be limitations from the state of Florida,” DeSantis said in an afternoon news conference in St. Petersburg.

DeSantis said the state will require local governments to explain if they continue to curb restaurant capacities in any way.

His order read: “Floridians should not be prohibited from working or operating a business.”

DeSantis also barred local governments from imposing fines on people who do not wear masks.

During the pandemic, Florida has tallied more than 690,000 coronavirus cases, and its death toll approached 14,000 on Friday, according to health authorities.

Though the Sunshine State’s COVID-19 outbreak has ebbed since the summer, the state has still logged more than 1,500 cases every day over the last two weeks.

Miami-Dade County, the state’s most populous county, will continue to limit restaurant capacity to 50%, Patty Abril, a spokesperson for the county’s mayor’s office, said in an email.

“We want to ensure compliance with the state order, while also continuing to act in the best interests of our community,” said Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Also on Friday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said long-shuttered movie theaters will be allowed to reopen on Oct. 9.

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