Governor DeSantis Moves Florida into Phase 3

Industry News,

On Sept. 25, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-244, moving all of Florida’s 67 counties into Phase 3 of the governor's re-opening plan. Executive Order 20-244 does the following:

  • Removes state-level restrictions on businesses, such as restaurants.
  • Provides that no COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or operating a business, giving Floridians and business owners needed certainty and the ability to provide for themselves and their families.
  • Provides that restaurants may not be limited by a COVID-19 emergency order by any local government to less than 50% of their indoor capacity. If a restaurant is limited to less than 100% of its indoor capacity, such COVID-19 emergency order must satisfy the following.
    • Quantify the economic impact of each limitation or requirements on those restaurants; and
    • Explain why each limitation or requirement is necessary for public health.
  • Suspends all outstanding fines and penalties, and the collection of such moving forward, applied against individuals related to COVID-19. 
  • Vulnerable populations should inform their employer that they are a member of the vulnerable population so that their employers can plan accordingly. Employers may considered teleworking for vulnerable populations
  • Employers should take prudent and practical measures to ensure employees do not enter the premises, if they believe they are infected with COVID-19 or show symptoms of influenza like illness.
  • Local government meetings should return to in-person quorum and public participation for local government bodies.
  • Bars, pubs, and nightclubs that derive more than 50% of their sales from alcohol, may operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols.
  • Restaurants and food service establishments may operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols.
  • Gyms and fitness centers should open to full capacity but should maintain adequate sanitation practices among employees and patrons during all hours of operation.
  • Theme parks may return to normal operations with limited social distancing protocols.
  • Retail businesses may operate at full capacity, and should continue to maintain adequate sanitation practices for employees and patrons.

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