Florida democrats call for clearer, stronger stay at home order

Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, a democrat, said it caused major confusion.

FILE - In this March 30, 2020, file photo Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at a drive-through coronavirus testing site in front of Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File) (Wilfredo Lee, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Violation of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s statewide safer-at-home order comes with a second-degree misdemeanor charge, but many are having trouble understanding what is and is not allowed.

The governor has provided some clarity, but Florida Democrats say it’s not enough.

Two seemingly conflicting executive orders issued hours apart called into question whether local governments could enforce tighter restrictions than the statewide safer at home order.

Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, a Democrat, said it caused major confusion.

“What it's doing is forcing counties and cities and individuals to self interpret, which is going to make it nearly impossible for law enforcement or any type of enforcement of this order,” said Fried.

DeSantis said his executive order is only a floor.

"Each region in Florida is very distinct and some of these things may need to be approached a little bit differently,” said DeSantis.

But there are some things local governments can’t do, like ban religious services.

"The Constitution doesn't get suspended here,” said DeSantis.

However, they can require religious gatherings to adhere to local social distancing guidelines.

“There's no reason why you couldn't do a church service with people ten feet apart,” said DeSantis.

The Governor released a fact sheet Friday night, providing answers to many of the commonly asked questions about the safer at home order.

But Democrats argue despite the clarification offered, the broad 19-page list of essential services offers too many loopholes and should be narrowed.

“Because if we are actually going to beat this virus we've got to be in this together and we've got to make sure that we're doing everything we can to stop the spread,” said Fried.

The safer at home order is set to expire April 30, but it could be extended or amended anytime before then.

To find the list of commonly asked questions offered by the Governor, visit flgov.com.