Florida Moves to Phase 3 Reopening

Just in time for the weekend, restaurants and bars can operate at full capacity — regardless of local government rules — as Florida moves onto Phase 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan, the governor said Friday.

Phase 3 in Florida will start immediately, Gov. Ron DeSantis said from The Birchwood, a St. Pete hotel which includes a restaurant and popular rooftop bar. The move lifts all restrictions on restaurant, bar, and retail store capacity; restaurants can operate at a minumum of 50% capacity, regardless of local rules.

“Every business has a right to operate… you can’t just say ‘no’ after six months and have people twisting in the wind,” he said.

The order also bars cities and counties from ordering restaurants to close, unless they can justify a closure for economic or health reasons.

“They have to provide justification, and they have to identify what the costs of doing that are,” DeSantis continued.

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