Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state has reached Phase 3 of its reopening plan, essentially lifting state restrictions that had been imposed on businesses because of concerns regarding potential spread of COVID-19.
DeSantis made the announcement on Sept. 25, in St. Petersburg.
The governor spoke about the impacts his executive order will have on restaurants, in particular, and on Florida businesses, in general.
“We are today moving into what we initially called Phase 3, and what that’ll mean for the restaurants is that there will not be limitations from the state of Florida,” DeSantis said, in a video of the announcement shared on YouTube by NBC 6 South Florida.
“The order that I’m signing today will guarantee restaurants operate, will not allow closures. They can operate at a minimum of 50% regardless of local rule, and then, if the local restricts between 50 and 100, they’ve got to provide the justification and they’ve got to identify what the costs involved in doing that are.
“This is a very difficult industry to succeed in. The margins aren’t great,” the governor said, in a video that was shared by various news outlets.
“If you go back to March, we were told 15 days to slow the spread.
“In Florida, we followed that. No dining in restaurants. The bars. The gyms. No elective procedures, some of these.
“They said, ‘You know what, we need another 30 days. So 30 days to slow the spread. So we did that, as well.
“And yet, you have some people who say, ‘Well, you know, what you want to do until there’s a vaccine.
“Now, people are saying, ‘Even if there’s a vaccine, it’s still going to take another year before you can operate appropriately.’ I don’t think that’s viable. I don’t think that’s acceptable.
“I think this is going to be very important to the industry, and it also will be a recognition that they have worked as hard as anybody to create safe environments.
“In fact, the idea of government dictating this is better than them making these decision so that their customers have confidence, I think, is misplaced,” DeSantis said.
“We’re also saying in the state of Florida everybody has an opportunity to work, every business has the right to operate.”
“You can’t just say ‘No.’ You can’t say no after six months and have people twisting in the wind,” DeSantis said.
Published September 30, 2020