Seminole County: Businesses must implement social distancing or face fines

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Seminole County leaders are asking businesses to comply with a social distancing mandate that went into effect at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

The county will be enforcing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines on social distancing.

“I’m really serious about this, we will site businesses for not complying with this executive order,” Sheriff Dennis Lemma said during a news conference Monday

There were five calls for service, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Violating the mandate could result in a $500 fine.

Where most people will notice the change is in hardware and grocery stores.

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The order requires stores to measure 6 feet in between each customer and mark it in checkout lines.

“All employees and patrons must practice social distancing by staying 6 feet apart,” a Seminole County official said.

An executive order signed Friday requires markings in grocery stores.

Checkout points and staging areas, including storefronts must be monitored to maintain the 6-foot distance.

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Stores and other business that are still operating must reduce crowds.

“A limited occupancy of 30% of maximum allowable capacity of the fire code,” an official said.

Seminole County leaders drafted the order in response to complaints that stores were too full and some businesses were forcing employees to meet in groups larger than 10 or work in too close of quarters.

Businesses and people who are warned they’re violating the order and continue to do so will be fined $500.

Other businesses are working to ensure they are practicing social distancing, too.

At Marco’s Pizza in Seminole County, they are also practicing social distancing while staying open for business. They’ve put tape on the ground to ensure people are following the mandate.

“It’s the government’s rule right now, and we’re not trying to get in any trouble,” franchise owner Andrew Abdelsayed said.

Katlyn Brieskorn,

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

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.