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No drinking at Florida bars, but to-go drinks allowed

Drinking alcohol in bars in Florida has been suspended.
Drinking alcohol in bars in Florida has been suspended.(Associated Press)
Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 11:08 AM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG) - Drinking at a bar is not allowed in Florida at this time.

Friday morning, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation suspended on premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide, effective immediately.

The emergency order says during the month of June, the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus COVID-19 increased significantly in the state, especially among younger people. It goes on to say “some of these cases involving younger individuals are suspected to have originated from visits to bars, pubs, or nightclubs who have disregarded the restrictions set forth in Phase 2 of the Safe. Smart. Step-by-step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery.”

The emergency order also says bars and other vendors licensed to sell alcoholic drinks through out the state are suspected of not complying to the 50 percent indoor capacity rule of Phase 2 “to such a degree as to make individualized enforcement efforts impractical and insufficient at this time.”

Secretary of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation Halsey Beshears order all vendors licensed to sell alcoholic drinks on the premises who derive more than 50 percent of gross revenue from such sales of alcoholic beverages must suspend sales of alcoholic drinks for consumption on premises. However, those businesses can sell alcoholic beverages in sealed containers for consumption off the premises.

The order also says vendors who are also licensed as public food service establishments or “restaurants” under Chapter 509, Florida Statutes, may continue operating on-premises consumption of food and beverages at tables as long as they follow restrictions set forth already and if the vendors derive 50 percent of gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.

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