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No Restrictions for Restaurants as DeSantis Moves Florida to Phase 3 Reopening

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Restaurants will be able to operate without restrictions in Florida, said Gov. Ron DeSantis Friday as he announced the state would move to Phase 3 of reopening.

“Every business has a right to operate… you can’t just say no after six months and have people twisting in the wind,” DeSantis said in St. Petersburg.

In making the announcement, DeSantis said coronavirus survival rates were at 94 percent in the state, and that hospitalizations were down.

Phase 3 of Florida’s Reopening Plan does suggest restaurants have some social distancing protocols and take sanitation precautions. 

“Businesses should maintain adequate sanitation practices among employees and patrons during all hours of operation. Menus, if laminated, should continue to be cleaned after each usage. Paper menus shall be designed for single use and then disposed of immediately after use,” the plan says.

Among the other provisions of Phase 3 of Florida’s reopening plan:

People over 65 years of age and those with underlying health problems should continue to practice social distancing, but can resume public interaction.

Businesses that have been teleworking because of the pandemic can resume unrestricted staffing at work sites.

Employees can resume non-essential travel.

Theme parks can return to normal operations, with limited social distancing protocols.

Gyms and fitness centers can operate at full capacity.

Bars and nightclubs that derive 50 percent of sales from alcohol can operate at full capacity with social distancing protocols.

It’s not clear yet how much of the Phase 3 plan is being implemented right now, however the governor pointed out that many of the other businesses in the state are already open .

This is a developing story, check back for the latest.

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