Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday the state would move into phase 3 of its reopening plan, giving restaurants the green light to operate at full capacity.
“For the restaurants there will be no limitations from the state of Florida,” DeSantis said at his press conference at The Birchwood, a St. Petersburg hotel. “This will be very, very important to the industry and it also will be recognition that they have worked as hard as anybody to create safe environments.”
Under phase 3 restaurants no longer have a state-wide restriction on capacity, though DeSantis said he’s signing an order that will guarantee restaurants can operate at a minimum of 50 percent capacity regardless of local rules, according to WFTV 9.
Localities that set restaurant capacity anywhere between 50-100 percent must provide justification as to why, DeSantis said.
“Every business has a right to operate,” DeSantis said. “You can’t just say ‘no’ after six months and have people twisting in the wind.”
The announcement to move the state into phase 3 comes less than a month after DeSantis said he would never lock the state down again. (RELATED: Gov. Ron DeSantis Says He Is Exploring Possible Student ‘Bill Of Rights’ For Partying)
“We will never do any of these lockdowns again, and I hear people say they’ll shut down the country, and honestly I cringe.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: “We will NEVER do any of these lockdowns again.” pic.twitter.com/YxJh2nxiV3
— The Hill (@thehill) August 31, 2020
The state’s positivity rate has dropped to 4.45 percent, while hospitalizations and emergency room visits have also declined, according to SunSentinel.