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Gov Ron DeSantis announces state entering phase 3

It is effective immediately
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Posted at 12:23 PM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 13:26:06-04

In a round table meeting on Friday, governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state will be entering phase 3 of reopening.

The governor spoke in St. Petersburg to announce that restaurants and other businesses can reopen immediately at full capacity, with a minimum of 50% capacity. Restaurants can also seat people indoors or outdoors.

"There will be no limitations from the state of Florida," he said.

DeSantis said this order will preempt local rules enforcing restaurant closures. Cities will also have to justify rules limiting capacity, citing health or economic reasons. Up until now, DeSantis has left it up to the cities to decide how to handle their reopenings.

The governor also mentioned that South Florida counties may do things differently, as they have been impacted harder than the others. However, he said that local governments in South Florida can still put restrictions on certain venues, and adjust capacity limits at bars.

"They have every incentive to provide a good environment for their customers."

Another substantial part of phase 3 is that it suspends all outstanding fines and penalties against people who violated city and county mask mandates.

"I think we need to get away from trying to penalize people for social distancing and just work with people constructively," DeSantis said.