If you had plans to go out for St. Patty’s Day today, you’ll want to reschedule and crack open a Guinness from home, because starting at 5 p.m. tonight all Florida bars and nightclubs will be closed for 30 days. Governor Ron DeSantis announced the restriction today when large groups of people gathering at bars were still active after the CDC and White House recommendations to practice social distancing.
Following the announcement, all restaurant dining rooms with a capacity of more than 8 people and gyms were closed in Miami-Dade County, and Orlando saw the ban of on-site alcohol sales at all venues including both bars and restaurants, until the end of March.
Desantis also mentioned that restaurants will only be allowed to fill to 50% capacity, with strategically staggered seating. Employees are also required to be screened by their employers.
Florida beaches have been a popular escape in the last few days despite health official's recommendations to avoid large crowds, and DeSantis seeks to scale back on these as well.
Fox13 News reported that the governor also wanted the state to apply CDC guidance to beachgoers. To reduce density and crowds, people looking to hit the sand must meet in groups smaller than 10.
Jennifer Holton of Fox 13 reported on Twitter that Clearwater Beach was as busy as ever.
This is #ClearwaterBeach today - looks like fewer beachgoers than yesterday but still packed. No #socialdistancing… https://t.co/CeoJXmxwMa— Jennifer Holton FOX 13 (@Jennifer Holton FOX 13)1584460578.0
These announcements follows the report of nearly 200 cases of people in Florida testing positive for COVID-19, with 6 confirmed deaths.
Bars, beaches, and businesses aren't the only entities seeing closures, postponements, and restrictions.Florida universities and some public schools have already moved their classes completely online in an attempt to help stop the spread of the virus.
DeSantis urged those who worried they'd been exposed to the virus to reach out to the COVID-19 hotline.
If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact the COVID-19 Hotline: 1(866)779-6121 before visiti… https://t.co/xZkAn4k0tp— Ron DeSantis (@Ron DeSantis)1584389785.0
While restrictions tighten and venues close, there are still some great ways to stay occupied at home.