Governor Ron DeSantis sent Florida into phase 3 this week.
The executive order allows restaurants to operate at maximum capacity and overrides any local ordinances. Businesses may also adopt their own restrictions.
The order provides for the general right of businesses to operate. Businesses can be limited by local government but not forced to close.
Also effective immediately, local government can no longer fine constituents or close businesses for mask or social distancing violations. Individual businesses can choose their own distancing and/or mask requirements.
DeSantis’ order stated, “no COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or operating a business, giving Floridians and business owners needed certainty and the ability to provide for themselves and their families.”
Cities and counties cannot collect any fees related to pandemic provisions. This includes past ordinance fees that are overdue.
Sports venues and theme parks are not included in this executive order since state restrictions are not currently in place on these businesses.
Florida reported 120 deaths and 2,847 new cases from COVID-19 Friday.
DeSantis’s aides said hospitalizations and deaths have dropped since a mid-summer surge that hit Florida, which spurred the order.
Read more here.