Florida Bars Can Reopen June 5, Except in Miami


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A month after announcing the first phase of his plan to reopen Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state would enter the second phase of its “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step” guidelines.

The second phase, which will come into effect this Friday June 5th, will allow restaurants to open at full capacity, provided they comply with the applicable social distancing and hygiene rules.

In phase two, bars and pubs can also be opened with less standing room occupancy. These rules allow operation with 50 percent capacity indoors and full capacity outdoors. In a press conference, DeSantis stated that the new guidelines require seating for all customers.

“I mean, people enjoy, have a drink – it’s fine,” said the governor. “But I don’t want large crowds to gather.”

In the second phase, restaurants can open their bar areas and serve drinks regardless of whether a customer orders food – as long as they are seated.

Cinemas and bowling alleys can also be used up to 50 percent from Friday.

However, if you’re looking forward to having a drink with friends in Miami this weekend, you might as well stick a cork in for now.

The second phase will take effect in 64 of the 67 Florida counties. As with the initial Phase One implementation, the contract excludes Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.

Much like when he announced the first phase on April 30, DeSantis said officials from the three counties of South Florida could seek approval by submitting a plan through their mayor or district administrator.

The Governor’s Reason: Miami-Dade and its neighbors to the immediate north recorded more cases of COVID-19 than other counties in the state.

“They were hit a little harder than other parts of Florida,” DeSantis said. “They had some good trends in places like Broward, but they have a slightly different schedule.”

There is currently no date for bars to reopen in Miami, according to the office of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Giménez. Before making a decision, the mayor intends to meet with his restaurant industry working group and medical experts. Only after analyzing the data and the current conditions in Miami-Dade will the county plan the next step.

Broward Mayor Dale Holness has not given Governor DeSantis any formal plans to enter the second phase, according to his office.

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Laine Doss is the food and liquor editor for the Miami New Times. It was featured on Eat Street by Cooking Channel and in the Great Food Truck Race by Food Network. She won an Alternative Weekly Award for her contribution on what it’s like to wait for tables.

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