Gov’s order: All Florida restaurants must provide takeout and delivery only

Reporter: Anika Henanger
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday ordered restaurants close their dining rooms to guests, forcing the businesses to rely on takeout and delivery only.

Restaurants are worried about how their employees will make ends meet.

“I feel like we knew it was coming; we just didn’t know when and how fast,” said Jasmine Fedoriv, co-owner of Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls in downtown Fort Myers.

“It’s really gonna be very painful, what we’ve done,” said Chris Blauvelt, owner of The Standard Restaurant. “We’ve expanded our operating hours from seven in the morning until seven-thirty at night.”

The executive order from DeSantis also allows restaurants to package and sell alcohol for delivery and pick-up. Alcohol has to come with a meal and customers will need an ID.

“We just opened like two months ago … we don’t really know what to expect,” said Yuriy Fedoriv, co-owner of Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls.

Thousands of bartenders and servers don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

“I’m helping them out as much as I can,” said Blauvelt. “We’re all family here so we all stick together.”

Deon Smith, bartender and server at Ginza, said there’s “a lot of obvious panicking.”

He said they’re asking the community for help.

“Pray for us all in the hospitality industry and hope this all has a good result,” he said.

DeSantis said most restaurants were complying with the previous order to operate at half capacity, but not all, and that’s why he closed all dine-ins.

Another industry affected by the executive order: gyms and fitness centers. Those businesses also have to close their doors, effective Friday.

Executive Order 20-71

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-71 Friday afternoon directing all Florida restaurants and other food establishments to suspend any on-premises consumption of food or alcohol. This is a separate order from previous Executive Order 20-70, which only applied to Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Those establishments, however, will be permitted to operate their kitchens for the purpose of providing delivery or take-out services.

Additionally, the order lifts the restriction that prohibits a specially licensed food service establishment from selling package sales of alcohol for delivery, take-out or consumption off-premises for restaurants complying with Executive Order 20-68, through the expiration of the state of emergency declared in Executive Order 20-52. Alcohol sales to go with food that is pick-up or delivered will be permitted and I.D. will be required for orders including alcohol.

The order also requires the closures of gymnasiums and fitness centers state-wide.

DeSantis orders elective medical services be prohibited

DeSantis also issued Executive Order 20-72 Friday to prohibit non-essential elective medical procedures.

Per the governor’s office, all hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices and other health care practitioners’ offices in the state are prohibited from providing any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery.

The governor’s office says, if delayed, these are medical services that do not place a patient’s immediate health, safety or well-being at risk, or will, if delayed, not contribute to the worsening of a serious or life-threatening medical condition.

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