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City News

Posted on: March 20, 2020

Governor's closing of restaurants, gyms and fitness centers

COVID 19

The City of Milton will stand by our businesses during this difficult time and will assist in any way possible. 

Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order allows only take out or delivery for restaurants and closes fitness centers/gyms. 


ST ATE OF FLORIDA OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER 20-71 

(Emergency Management - COVID-19 - Alcohol Sales, Restaurants, and Gyms)


WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-51 directing the Florida Department of Health to issue a Public Health Emergency; and


WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer
declared a Public Health Emergency exists in the State of Florida as a result of COVID-19; and


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 March 16, 2020, President Donald J. Trump and the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention ("CDC") issued the "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidance advising
individuals to adopt far-reaching social distancing measures, such as avoiding gatherings of more
than 10 people, and in states with evidence of community spread, bars, restaurants, food courts,
gyms and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed;
and


WHEREAS, the State Surgeon General has advised me that gyms and fitness centers are
establishments that attract gatherings of more than 10 people and are more susceptible for
spreading COVID-19; and


WHEREAS, on March 17, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-68 restricting bars, pubs,
and nightclubs from selling alcohol and ordered every restaurant to limit its occupancy to 50% of
its current building occupancy and abide by the CDC’s "social distancing" guidelines; and

WHEREAS, restaurants are increasing sales of orders for take-out and delivery for
customers in order to meet demand while adhering to Executive Order 20-68; and


WHEREAS, I am committed to supporting retailers, restaurants and their employees as
they pursue creative business practices that safely serve consumers during this temporary period
of social distancing; and


WHEREAS, as Governor, I am responsible for meeting the dangers presente4 to this state
and its people by this emergency.


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, Chapter 252,
Florida Statutes, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order to take
immediate effect:


Section 1. Alcohol Sales
A. I hereby order all vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on
the premises to suspend the sale of alcoholic beverages by the drink or in sealed containers for
consumption on the premises. Such vendors may continue to sell alcoholic beverages in sealed
containers for consumption off-premises.


B. The restriction in section 561.20(2)(a)4., Florida Statutes, prohibiting a specially
licensed food service establishment from selling package sales of alcohol for delivery, take-out or
consumption off-premises is suspended for restaurants complying with Executive Order 20-68,
through the expiration of the state of emergency declared in Executive Order 20-52, including any
extensions, so long as the following conditions are met:


      1) Any sale of an alcoholic beverage in a sealed container for consumption off
      premises is accompanied by the sale of food within the same order; and

     2) Any delivery of an alcoholic beverage complies with section 561.57,
     Florida Statutes.


C. The provisions of section 561.42, Florida Statutes, and Rules 61A-l.010, 61A
l.0107, 61A-l.0108, Florida Administrative Code, are suspended for the limited purpose of
allowing licensed vendors of alcoholic beverages to request the return of undamaged alcoholic
beverages purchased for events cancelled in response to COVID-19, so long as:


     1) The requests are made within 30 days of the expiration of the state of
     emergency declared in Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions.


2) Vendors shall make and keep records of all events cancelled in response to
COVID-19 that comply with section 561.55, Florida Statutes, and Rule 61A-l.01028(2), Florida
Administrative code, and also include:


a. the event name;
b. the date the event was to be held;
c. the date the event was cancelled;
d. the location of the event or gathering that was cancelled; and
e. the product returned to a distributor as a result of the cancellation of the
event.


3) Licensed distributors shall make and keep records of all returns that comply
with the record keeping requirements of section 561.55, Florida Statutes, and Rule 61A
l.01028(2), Florida Administrative code, and also include:


a. the request from the licensed vendors;
b. the date the request was made;
c. the identity of the licensed vendor making the request, including the
3
licensed vendor’s business name and address;
d. the license number of the licensed vendor making the request;
e. the product returned; and
f. whether the vendor received cash or credit.


4) Vendors receive cash or a credit against outstanding indebtedness within
sixty days from the date the distributor picks up the products.


5) The returned products were not initially purchased, sold, or otherwise
obtained with either the privilege of return, or in any other manner that would be considered a
violation of Florida’s Beverage Law.


D. This Section does not prohibit retail stores and vendors that currently sell sealed
containers of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption from continuing such sales for off
premises consumption.


E. This Section amends and supersedes Executive Order 20-68, Section 1.
Section 2. Restaurants and Bars


I hereby order all restaurants and food establishments licensed under Chapters 500 and
509, Florida Statues, within the State of Florida to suspend on-premises food consumption for
customers. Notwithstanding the foregoing, such establishments may operate their kitchens for the
purpose of providing delivery or take-out services. Employees, janitorial personnel, contractors
and delivery personnel shall be allowed access to such establishments for the purposes of delivery
or take-out services. This Section amends and supersedes Executive Order 20-68, Sections 3(A)
(B).


Section 3. Gyms and Fitness Centers
I hereby order the closure of gymnasiums and fitness centers within the State of Florida.

This order shall not apply to gymnasiums and fitness centers which are: (i) amenities of hotels
which have a capacity of 10 persons or less, (ii) are an amenity of a residential building, (iii) are
interior to any fire or police stations or (iv) are located inside any single-occupant office building.


Section 4. Enforcement and Implementation
A. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation shall utilize its authorities
under Florida law to further implement and enforce the provisions of this Executive Order and
shall take additional measures as necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.


B. Pursuant to section 252.36(6), Florida Statutes, all state and local law enforcement
shall further implement and enforce the provisions of this Executive Order.
Section 5. This Executive Order shall expire upon the expiration of Executive Order
20-52, including any extensions.

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