Happy hour is upon us once more. On Monday, September 14 Florida bars and breweries will start pouring, no food needed.
Just past 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 10, the Secretary of Department of Business & Professional Regulation Halsey Beshears tweeted, “We are rescinding amended EO 20-09 from DBPR as of Monday. Starting Monday, all bars will be reopened at 50% occupancy.”
The decision came after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a service industry roundtable in Ft. Meyers on Thursday, September 10.
The primary purpose of the roundtable was to discuss the possibility of increasing restaurant operating capacity while still keeping patrons safe, however, the date for this hasn’t been announced yet.
“This 50% is really arbitrary,” admitted DeSantis. “It was recommended by some of these groups. I’m not sure there’s a difference.”
DeSantis also denounced the validity of six-foot distancing, noting that the World Health Organization’s recommendation is actually three feet.
“We’ve got to get people back on their feet,” said DeSantis.
The governor expressed his concerns for those who had been laid off and agreed that restaurants weren’t any more likely to spread the coronavirus than other public places.
In order to continue revenue production for bars and restaurants, the “beverage to go” policy that was included in a March executive order, isn’t going away either.
“I do think that it’s been successful, and I would encourage the Legislature to just make that permanent, because I think that you guys need all the help you can get, and I think it would make a lot of sense,” said DeSantis. “So I’m for it being permanent. And I think that you’ll probably get a pretty good reception in the Legislature, just based on the experience and just based off everyone having to go through what you guys have gone through.”