It’s back to business for Florida’s bars and restaurants! Under an executive order signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, these entities will no longer be forced to operate at less than full capacity under state rules as the tide of the coronavirus pandemic begins to roll back.

The order, which takes effect immediately, also prohibits local governments from closing businesses or collecting fines related to pandemic-related mandates, such as mask requirements — leading to at least one Central Florida county being inundated with calls asking if people no longer have to wear one. But it does allow local authorities to limit restaurant and bar capacity to 50% if they can justify it.

“We are today moving into what we initially called phase 3,” DeSantis said during a news conference in St. Petersburg. “And what that’ll mean for the restaurants is there will not be limitations from the state of Florida. We’re also saying in the state of Florida everybody has a right to work. (Local governments) can do reasonable regulations, but they can’t just say no.”

The executive order ends nearly every measure the Sunshine State put in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus, placing Florida into the last phase of its reopening plan.

The executive order does allow local governments to keep additional limits in place if they’re justified for health or economic reasons.

“Every business has the right to operate,” DeSantis said. “Some of the locals can do reasonable regulations. But you can’t just say no.”

…Currently, Miami-Dade, Broward and other counties in South Florida have locally imposed limits on the hours restaurants and bars can operate and how many customers they can serve indoors.

Broward County Mayor Dale Holness told NPR member station WLRN on Friday, “We’re hoping that the governor will allow us to have deeper restrictions than the rest of the state. We have a greater spread of the virus in South Florida than other parts of the state.”

In tandem with this order, DeSantis has also been sharing some coronavirus statistics that the American press hasn’t been highlighting.

The Centers for Disease Control’s recent official survival rate data are truly eye-opening.

Below is a quick summary of the CDC COVID-19 Survival Rates.

Age 0-19 — 99.997%
Age 20-49 — 99.98%
Age 50-69 — 99.5%
Age 70+ — 94.6%

Below is Infection Fatality Ratio for Scenario 5: Current Best Estimate

R0* 2.5

Age 0-19 years: 0.00003
Age 20-49 years: 0.0002
Age 50-69 years: 0.005
Age 70+ years: 0.054

Clearly, DeSantis is following hard science and the real numbers.


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