Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to discuss how to reopen bars next week

ORLANDO, Fla. — The secretary of Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Halsey Beshears, said he will be setting up meetings with breweries and bars throughout Florida next week to discuss how to reopen them.

Last month, bars across Florida were no longer allowed to sell alcohol for on-site consumption as COVID-19 case numbers continued to shatter records in the state.

On July 1, the department revised its ban and allowed all vendors to sell alcohol for off-site consumption.

Read: Orlando bar owners react to statewide ban on selling alcohol for on-site consumption

Beshears said the department will “come up with a safe, smart and step-by-step plan based on input, science and relative facts on how to reopen as soon as possible.”

Some bar owners said they don’t understand why Beshears isn’t starting the discussion sooner.

The owner of Casey’s on Central Boulevard said his message to the state would be “stop discriminating against bars. The last 29 days should prove we are not solely the problem, like we were made out to be.”

Several bar owners said that continued spread of the virus and high daily case counts show the problem goes beyond them.

Doctors and researches said even if bar were the main source, it’s hard to reel a virus back in once it reaches the point of community spread.

Read: Orlando bar owners file lawsuit against DeSantis, Florida over coronavirus restrictions

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.

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