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Today, at The Birchwood hotel in St. Petersburg, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state will move to Phase 3 of his “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan” for Re-Opening Florida, including allowing restaurants to operate at full capacity, effective immediately.

There will no longer be operational limitations enforced by the State of Florida. He further explained that his Executive Order, coming out later today, will prohibit local municipalities from restricting the re-opening of businesses. They must be allowed to operate at least at 50% capacity, regardless of local rule.

Governor DeSantis highlighted that the restaurant industry is difficult to succeed in with thin margins, and there have been devastating effects from COVID-19 shutdowns on operators and their employees since March.

“We are saying in the state of Florida everybody has an opportunity and the right to work,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Every business has the right operate.”

“Florida’s hospitality industry has been decimated by COVID-19,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA). “This has been a crisis like we have never seen before. Businesses have closed, and more than 336,000 people have lost work in our industry. The effects on the local and state economy have been significant. I want to thank Governor DeSantis and DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears for their support as we have navigated this unprecedented time and for allowing us the opportunity to get back to work. We look forward to welcoming back our wonderful guests and to re-opening the Sunshine State.”

“I would like to commend Governor DeSantis for his leadership,” said JT Corrales, Director of Business Development for Crabby Bills. “Today is a big step for us in the restaurant industry in the road to recovery. I think this gives us a real fighting chance.”

At the announcement, Governor DeSantis was joined by the following Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) members:

Dannette Lynch, FRLA Regional Director and Director of Membership.

Heather Dawkins, The Canopy at the Birchwood, FRLA Pinellas Chapter.

Mary Beth Hansen, Paradise Grill, FRLA Suncoast Chapter.

JT Corrales, Crabby Bills, FRLA Pinellas Chapter.

Eric Potts, Bella’s Italian, FRLA Hillsborough Chapter.

For more information, visit the FRLA website, where we will share more details and the Executive Order as soon as it is available.


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