Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference on September 25th in St. Petersburg, Florida. WFTS

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he signed an order at a press conference today that will move the state into the third phase of reopening.

DeSantis highlighted the impact of the move on restaurants and bars, which are now 100% occupied.

“There won’t be any restrictions from the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.

However, the regulation treats restaurants and bars differently, which local communities can do to limit their operations.

“If a local restricts between 50 and 100, they must provide the justification and determine the costs involved,” added the governor.

Conversely, bars that were 50% busy must be authorized by local governments to scale up to 100%.

“If you want to go past 50, you can authorize and do so,” DeSantis said.

“We’re not telling you [that] You have to, but we won’t stand in the way, “he added.

DeSantis also suspended “all outstanding fines and penalties imposed on individuals” associated with pandemic-related mandates such as mask requests in “an act of executive mercy”.

“I think we don’t have to try to punish people for social distancing,” DeSantis said.

“We will put all of these fines on hold in the hope that we can move forward in a way that is more collaborative,” he added.

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