JUNE 26, 2020 | 12:21 P.M. | TREASURE COAST–Florida is ordering bars to stop serving alcohol effective immediately.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation made the announcement at 11 a.m. as the Florida Department of Health reported 8,942 new confirmed coronavirus cases.
The state cited that younger bar and night club patrons were becoming infected. It also noted that bar owners were failing to comply with regulations that kept people safe. The state believed non-compliance was widespread to make enforcement impractical.
Bars were allowed to re-open June 5 with strict occupancy rules. The capacity was limited to 50 percent occupancy, chairs had to be six feet apart, and more importantly, only patrons sitting in seats could be in the establishment; no seat, no service.
Details are still pending on how this announcement will be applied to restaurants and how it will be enforced.
UPDATE 12:48 P.M.–We have attached a copy of the Executive Order below, which states that all vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages who derive more than 50 percent of their income from such sales shall suspend sales for consumption on the premises. Bars are still allowed to sell beverages to-go and restaurants that make less than 50 percent of gross revenue from alcohol are still allowed to sell for on-site consumption.