ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday afternoon that Florida will move into Phase 3 of reopening, a move that will roll back many of the restrictions put in place over the last six months of the coronavirus pandemic.
That means all statewide restrictions on bars and restaurants will be removed, DeSantis said, and the changes will go into effect immediately.
“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.”
While the governor said bars and restaurants can go back to normal capacity local governments can still put some restrictions in place as long as they allow at least 50% capacity.
In Jacksonville, there aren’t any restrictions that are impacted by the governor’s decision meaning full capacity is allowed.
“We continue to commend Governor Desantis in his smart and safe approach to reopening our state. We ask for the continued vigilance of our citizens and establishments that helped slow the spread of COVID-19,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said in an emailed statement.
Statewide, there will also be a suspension of collecting fines or fees for restrictions like not wearing a mask, DeSantis added.
“I think we need to get away from trying to penalize people for social distancing and just work with people, constructively,” DeSantis said.