Florida’s ban on serving alcohol to people in bars will be reevaluated daily, the state’s top business regulator said in a series of tweets over the weekend that also offered apologies for the crackdown.
Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Sunday the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is “trying to figure out a way forward” for bars, nightclubs and craft breweries that are essentially having to shut down again because of “widespread non-compliance” with coronavirus guidelines – non-compliance he attributed mostly to young adults who are “going to do what they’re going to do.”
“My view is, I'd rather have those places open, complying,” DeSantis said during a news conference on coronavirus response efforts at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. “I think that's probably less risky than what a lot of the young people end up doing. They're still going to do things, most likely. And you may end up doing things in ways that are that are even more risky.”
Halsey Beshears, secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, issued an order Friday suspending on-site consumption of alcohol at bars amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the state. The order doesn’t affect restaurants or other businesses that derive 50 percent or less of their gross revenue from the sale of alcohol.
Bars had been allowed to reopen June 5 in the second phase of DeSantis’ effort to revitalize the economy. They were limited to 50 percent indoor capacity and were only supposed to provide service to seated customers.
“Nothing I say or do will stop the pain, small business owners are feeling,” Beshears tweeted Saturday. “I empathize & understand, I’ve been there. It’s more then u: it’s your employees & the families they support. I’ll keep taking the hate, if it makes any of you feel better.”“We must forcefully flatten the curve,” he continued. “This decision was not a knee jerk reaction, nor was it made lightly, but based on evidence and the correlation in spikes after phase 2 reopening. We will get it right, then get people back to work ASAP.”
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