Bars in Florida can reopen at 50% capacity beginning Monday

An emergency order has been issued that will allow bars in Florida to open at 50% capacity beginning Monday, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced Thursday.

“In meetings with hundreds of owners of bars and breweries across the state, I’ve heard their stories of struggle, and I’ve observed their serious commitment to making health and safety a continuing priority in their businesses,” DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears announced Thursday. “It’s time that we take this step, and it’s vital that we start moving forward with this sector of our hospitality industry who have endured one of the toughest paths for sustaining a business during this pandemic.”

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The decision comes at the direction of both the DBPR and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DBPR issued the emergency order closing bars on June 26 in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The new order allows alcohol vendors to operate at half their indoor capacity, including bar service for seated customers, as well as outdoor seating with appropriate social distancing.

Read the full emergency order below:

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Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.