Florida moves to Phase 3; Governor limits local governments’ ability to restrict businesses


In a press conference today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a new Executive Order that moves Florida to Phase 3 and limits local governments’ ability to restrict businesses.

In the press conference, DeSantis pointed out the huge age disparity in dangers from COVID and said that resources should be directed toward protecting the older population while reducing restrictions on young people. He pointed out that, in spite of increased economic activity and the re-opening of schools, hospitalizations are down 76% from the peak on July 21.

DeSantis announced that all of Florida is immediately moving to Phase 3. Restaurants will be permitted to operate at any capacity they’re comfortable with. Local governments can limit restaurants’ capacity, but not below 50%, and if they limit capacity to anything below 100%, they have to quantify the economic impact of each limitation or requirements on those restaurants and explain why the limitation or requirement is necessary for public health.

The Order also suspends all outstanding fines and penalties related to COVID-19 (both outstanding and moving forward) against individuals.

Executive Order 20-244 does the following:

  1. Removes state-level restrictions on businesses, such as restaurants.
  2. Provides that 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.
  3. Provides that restaurants may not be limited by a COVID-19 emergency order by any local government to less than 50% of their indoor capacity. If a restaurant is limited to less than 100% of its indoor capacity, such COVID-19 emergency order must satisfy the following:
    1. Quantify the economic impact of each limitation or requirements on those restaurants; and
    2. Explain why each limitation or requirement is necessary for public health.
  4. Suspends all outstanding fines and penalties, and the collection of such moving forward, applied against individuals related to COVID-19. 

Executive Order 20-244 is effective immediately. 

  • “Ding-dong! The Witch is dead!” I bet Hutch, Cornhole, and Wheeler just crapped in their pants.
    They can’t issue citations until their concubine attorney staff starts looking for a way to circumvent the order. Poe just found out who’s in charge. Old Two Face Harvey must be crying right about now. Simmons and Johnson can play the race card…again. Areola, well he’s still an idiot. Speaking of idiots, Wacko Saco may try to utilize her law degree for once.
    It’s about time Governor DeSantis put these local tyrants in their place.

  • last paragraph #4, suspending all fines and penalties etc
    Regarding covid 19…does this mean we can take our masks
    Off now without fear of fines & penalties? Looks like Trump
    Got us through the virus! Trump 2020!

    • Yes. As far as I can tell, business employees still have to wear them, and schools can still require them, but individuals can’t be penalized by local governments.

      • That’s really gonna yank Poe & Hutches undies up!
        I think I’m having a healing!!! Oh happy day!!!

  • I find it rather odd that Mark “Goebbels” Sexton hasn’t released a public statement yet…must have an appendage of Hutch’s preventing him from making the announcement. He’s always been Johnny on the spot announcing Draconian orders. Go figure.

  • Poe said he disagreed with Desantis and would collaborate with the county …of course without includig High Springs, Alachua and the other municipallties.

  • Poe wrote to DeSantis a letter today to let Gainesville be Gainesville: ” .. we wholeheartedly beseech you to adjust your executive action and allow more flexibility in the continuance of local control, especially within university towns that have clearly become the newest epicenters for COVID-19 outbreak”. Note to readers: Anytime a politician uses “beseech” in a letter, it can be abbreviated to “B*S**** Sorry Mayor Poe, you lose.

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