DeSantis Lifts All Covid-19 Restrictions on Florida Restaurants

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “DeSantis Lifts All Covid-19 Restrictions on Florida Restaurants” – below is their description.

    Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all restrictions on restaurants and other businesses in Florida on Friday, and banned local fines against people who refuse to wear masks as he seeks to reopen the state’s economy despite the spread of the coronavirus. The Republican governor’s order unleashed fresh debate in the politically divided state, where pandemic responses have become intertwined with the upcoming presidential election. DeSantis, a major ally of President Donald Trump, acknowledged that the pandemic is far from over, but he said the threat has eased and the time has come to reopen for business. The governor said he would stop cities and counties from collecting fines on people who don’t wear face masks, virtually nullifying local mask ordinances. Florida Democrats have bemoaned the governor’s push to reopen as hasty. Florida has long been a COVID-19 hotspot, with nearly 700,000 people infected by the virus since the pandemic began in March. Nearly 14,000 Floridians have died. The governor reluctantly closed bars and nightclubs on St. Patrick’s Day due to the outbreak, and days later, restricted restaurants to take-out dining. Amusement parks ground to a halt. The closures battered the economy, leaving hundreds of thousands of Floridians unemployed. Since March 15, More than 2.5 million Floridians have sought unemployment benefits. DeSantis slowly reopened the state for business since then, allowing restaurants and bars to reopen at half capacity, while deferring to local officials who advocated reopening more slowly in the pandemic’s epicenters in southern Florida. New infections have steadily declined since Florida’s caseload peaked in July. Florida added 2,847 confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, pushing the statewide total since March 1 to 695,887. The state also announced 120 new virus deaths, pushing its total to 14,038. Hospitalizations declined by 34 to 2,137 people. The governor’s announcement Friday allows restaurants across the state to immediately reopen at full capacity — and prevents cities and counties from ordering restaurants to close or operate at less than half-capacity, unless they can justify a closure for economic or health reasons. The governor’s announcement wasn’t totally unexpected, although it had been unclear when he would move his state to the next phase of his reopening plan.

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    In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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