"We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions

Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Friday the state will completely reopen its economy, allowing restaurants at operate full capacity and barring localities from ordering businesses to close.

Why it matters: The state became one of the world's epicenters for the virus in July, forcing DeSantis to pause its first round of reopening.

  • The state now enters Phase 3 of its reopening, lifting the vast majority of any remaining restrictions on gyms, bars and retail spaces. These spaces had already been operating at or near full capacity under previous phases of Florida's reopening.
  • Cities and counties would be forced to justify any localized restrictions that bring capacity below 100%.
  • "We’re not closing anything going forward," DeSantis said at a press conference.

The big picture: Florida's coronavirus case count over the past week has been steady, with about 2,700 new cases in seven days.

  • Nearly 700,000 people have contracted COVID-19 in Florida, and the death toll is more than 14,000, according to the state's health department.

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