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Gov. DeSantis: We must “get to yes” on reopening Florida bars

(Source: WWBT/Gray News)
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 1:20 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says he wants to allow the state’s bars and breweries to start serving alcohol again soon, as coronavirus numbers across the state continue to decline.

DeSantis made the comments in St. Petersburg Thursday afternoon during a roundtable with bar and brewery owners.

“We really want to get to yes on this,” DeSantis told the panel of owners from Pinellas County, who talked about the severe impact on their businesses and employees during the shutdown.

You can watch the full roundtable discussion, which was broadcast live on WCTV’s Facebook page, below:

LIVE: Gov. Ron DeSantis is holding a roundtable on bars and breweries in St. Petersburg.

Posted by WCTV.tv on Thursday, September 3, 2020

The governor first ordered the closure of bars across Florida on March 17 as part of the shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19. They were allowed to serve again June 5 in the second phase of the governor’s reopening plan.

But then the state pulled back on the reopening.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation suspended on premises alcohol consumption again on June 26, amidst a record surge in coronavirus cases. DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears then held a series of meetings with bar and brewery owners across the state to talk about the impact on the businesses and plans to reopen and operate safely.

Since the shutdowns, several Tallahassee bars have closed permanently.

In Midtown alone, Fire Betty’s and The Fox and the Stag announced their closures in July. Two other bars in the same complex, Fifth & Thomas and Finnegan’s Wake, permanently closed in May.

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