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Thirsty patrons can no longer drink alcoholic beverages on a bar’s premises, state officials announced this morning.

A social-media post by Halsey Beshears, secretary of the state Department of Business & Professional Regulation, announced the move.

“Effective immediately, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending on-premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide,” he wrote on Twitter.

Bars can remain open for take-out orders, or to serve food. Restaurants that claim less than 50% in alcohol sales are unaffected.

Bars were previously allowed to open at 50-percent capacity as part of “phase 2” of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan.

The prohibition on on-premises consumption represents a step back in the reopening process, as Florida deals with a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

The state added more than 5,000 cases each on Tuesday and Wednesday. Volusia County added 94 and 140 new cases of the novel coronavirus the same days, according to Florida Department of Health data.

Volusia County had a total of 1,605 cases of COVID-19 reported as of Friday morning.

The county has a 2 p.m. COVID-19 briefing, streamed on their Facebook, scheduled for today.

Gov. Ron DeSantis also has a 2 p.m. briefing scheduled.

Read the emergency order by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation HERE.

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Anthony DeFeo joined The Beacon staff in 2015. The 24-year-old Long Island-native-turned-DeLand-resident has previously been published in The Florida Times-Union and The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Anthony enjoys writing, dining out, and exploring nature. While he enjoys playing with Conrad Beacon Cat at work, at home he is cat daddy to his own orange tabby, Cecil. Anthony is a graduate of the University of North Florida.


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