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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-244, moving all of Florida’s 67 counties into Phase 3

Today, Friday September 25, 2020 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-244, moving all of Florida’s 67 counties into Phase 3.

Executive Order 20-244 does the following:

  1. Removes state-level restrictions on businesses, such as restaurants.
  2. Provides that no COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or operating a business, giving Floridians and business owners needed certainty and the ability to provide for themselves and their families.
  3. Provides that restaurants may not be limited by a COVID-19 emergency order by any local government to less than 50% of their indoor capacity. If a restaurant is limited to less than 100% of its indoor capacity, such COVID-19 emergency order must satisfy the following:
    1. Quantify the economic impact of each limitation or requirements on those restaurants; and
    2. Explain why each limitation or requirement is necessary for public health.
  4. Suspends all outstanding fines and penalties, and the collection of such moving forward, applied against individuals related to COVID-19.

Executive Order 20-244 is effective immediately.

STATE OF FLORIDA

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER 20-244

(Phase 3; Right to Work; Business Certainty; Suspension of Fines.)

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-52 declaring a state of emergency for the entire State of Florida as a result of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on April 29, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-112 initiating Phase 1 of the Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery; and

WHEREAS, on May 14, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-123 for Full Phase 1; and

WHEREAS, on June 3, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-139 initiating Phase 2 of the Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery.

WHEREAS, the State of Florida has suffered economic harm as a result of COVID-19-related closures, exacerbating the impacts of the State of Emergency, and Floridians should not be prohibited by local governments from working or operating a business.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RON DESANTIS, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section (l)(a) of the Florida Constitution  and Chapter 252, Florida Statutes, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order:

Section 1.        Phase 3

This order supersedes and eliminates any and all restrictions of Executive Orders 20-112, 20-123 and 20-139, as well as Executive Orders 20-192, 20-214 and 20-223, except as modified herein.

Section 2.        Right to Work and Operate a Business

No COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or from operating a business. This preemption is consistent with Executive Order 20-92.

Section 3.        Restaurants

Pursuant to Chapter 252, including sections 252.36(5)(b), (g) and (h), Florida Statutes, and in order to safeguard the economic vitality of this state, any restaurant may operate as set forth below.

  1. Restaurants, including any establishment with a food service license, may not be limited by a COVID-19 emergency order by any local government to less than fifty percent (50%) of their indoor capacity.  If a restaurant is limited to less than one hundred percent (100%) of its indoor capacity, such COVID-19 emergency order must on its face satisfy the following:
  1. quantify the economic impact of each limitation or requirement on those restaurants; and
  2. explain why each limitation or requirement is necessary for public health.
  1. Nothing in this order preempts or supersedes a non-COVID-19 municipal or county order.

Section 4.        Suspension of COVID-19-related Individual Fines and Penalties

This order, consistent with Executive Order 20-92, suspends the collection of fines and penalties associated with COVID-19 enforced upon individuals.

Section. 5        Effective Date

This order is effective immediately.