Florida Repones, But South Florida Balks; ‘Unclear What Governor Means’

Florida Republican Governor and Naval Officer Ron DeSantis publicly announced that all coronavirus restrictions were lifted and all businesses, including restaurants, statewide could reopen for business Friday.

At a press conference in St. Petersburg last week, the governor announced his executive order allowing all restaurants and bars to operate at 100% capacity. In addition to lifting health restrictions on businesses, DeSantis said his is banning cities and counties from fining people who do not social distance or wear face masks — essentially eliminating all local mask mandates, according to CBS News.

Where local ordinances require social distancing and wearing masks in restaurants, the EO states that these restrictions or limitations must be explained as to why each limitation is necessary for public health.

The governor’s EO also suspends mask fines.

“We are today moving into initially called phase three. What that will mean for the restaurants, there will not be limitations,” said DeSantis. “As an act of executive grace, all fines and penalties that have been applied against individuals are suspended.”

The governor calls for “limited social distancing protocols.” The order does not prevent businesses from enforcing mask-wearing for customers.

“We’re also saying in the state of Florida, everybody has the opportunity and the right to work. Every business has the right to operate. If some of the locals may be able to, they can do reasonable regulations, but you can’t just say, ‘no.’ You can’t say, ‘no’ after six months and just have people just twisting in the wind,” the governor said.

masks, with no explanation as to why they are necessary, other than that Broward County and Miami-Dade officials have mandated it.

Evidently, Broward/Miami-Dade didn’t get the memo.

Local mayors are unclear on how the executive order will affect their counties.

The office of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CBS Miami that the curfew is in place but they are not clear on the mask mandate. The office of Broward Mayor Dale Holness also said they need more clarification on the order. Both counties continue to have the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state.

Protesters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, gathered at a Target on September 15 to demonstrate against the mandatory use of face masks against the spread of COVID-19.


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