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Florida will allow bars to reopen at half-capacity starting on Monday, Secretary of Department of Business and Professional Regulation Halsey Beshears announced on Thursday.
The announcement comes as Florida’s Department of Health reported 2,583 cases of COVID-19 with 211 deaths on Thursday.
The state has registered more than 654,700 cases and over 12,300 deaths since the pandemic began.
Beshears said that the state will rescind an executive order that forced some bars and breweries to shut down earlier this summer amid surging cases of the virus in the state.
“I would say that’s one of the best bits of news I’ve heard in a while,” John Cheek, president of Orlando Brewing Co. told the Orlando-Sentinel about the ban being lifted. “It would be good to get back to some sense of normalcy.”
Bars with outdoor seating, and spaced out tables, lessen the risk, as does going to a bar in an area where infection rates are not high.
At the time of the June 26 ban, the state recorded 8,942 new positive cases, and cases still continued to surge until they peaked with 15,000 new cases recorded on July 12.
In July, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US’ top infectious disease expert, said: “Bars: really not good. We really got to stop that right now.”
Business Insider’s Hillary Brueck explained in July: “He’s right: gathering indoors, where you get close to other people, shout to be heard, take off face coverings to drink, and (perhaps) lose a little inhibition along the way is a dangerous concoction that dramatically ups the odds of transmitting the coronavirus.”
The Miami Herald reported that Miami-Dade County won’t be lifting the ban on bars on Monday.
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Source:: Business Insider