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  • Mark Baratelli, Editor

What Restaurants Can (and Can't) Do Starting May 4th



UPDATED 4/30/20 6:50PM


Confused?

Confused as to what restaurants in Orange County can (and cannot) do starting May 4th? The Daily City sat down with the new Executive Order announced by Florida Governor Ron De Santis Wednesday April 29th, combed through it, and came up with an easy to understand guide.



What's It Called?

Executive Order 20-112, also referred to as "Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery."



When Does It Start?

It goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on May 4, 2020



When Does It End?

No end date was written on the Order. This is Phase 1 of a three phase plan. The Governor stated in the press conference Wednesday he would move to the next phase when it was appropriate.



Who Had Say So In This?

DeSantis convened a group of of 112 business presidents and CEOs, industry association heads, and government employees called the Task Force to ReOpen Florida. Its purpose was to evaluate how to "safely and strategically" re-open the State. Read their Report here. The task force also asked for public comment.



Is This the End-All Be-All For Orange County?

No. The executive order is designed to provide the minimum that must occur in the state. Local jurisdictions are allowed to create their own Executive Orders that are more restrictive than Order 20-112. They cannot, however, make them less restrictive. Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings is expected to announce his own executive order related to Order 20-112 soon. He is getting help from his own Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force made up of 44 presidents, CEOs, and owners of businesses, heads of hospitals, the superintendent of schools, and more.



Restaurant Provisions Of Executive Order 20-112:

Restaurants are allowed to have on-premises dining with the following rules:

  1. limit their indoor occupancy to no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy

  2. outdoor seating is permissible with appropriate social distancing

  3. adopt appropriate social distancing measures

Appropriate social distancing requirements:

  1. maintaining a minimum of 6 feet between parties

  2. only seating parties of 10 or fewer people

  3. keeping bar counters closed to seating


The Governor’s Executive Order does not mandate the use of masks.



Who's Policing The Restaurants?

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) will be the ones responsible for enforcing these provisions according to the Order. Violation of the order (regarding restaurants and everything else mentioned in it) is a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 60 days, a fine not to exceed $500, or both.

How to Report a Restaurant Not Following the Order

Even though DBPR's online complaint form contains language that says it's only to be used for complaints regarding Executive Orders 20-71, 20-87, and Order 20-91, Orange County Sheriff's Office says to use it. Another option is to use DBPR's Consumer Complaint Form. The Daily City asked DBPR if a new complaint form for the new Order would be created. This story will be updated when that information is received.



Bars:

Bars, pubs and nightclubs that derive more than 50 percent of gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages must continue to not sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.



Groups

Though the order states that congregating in large groups isn't allowed, it does not define the term "large group." The size of the group is only limited if the group is (1) located in a public space and (2) does not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing. In that case, the maximum number that can be present within the group is ten. Here is the exact wording: "For the duration of this order, all persons in Florida should avoid congregating in large groups. It is up to the local jurisdictions to ensure that groups of people greater than ten are not permitted to congregate in any public space that does not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing."



How Does This Relate to Past Orders?

The restaurant provisions extend Executive Order 20-68, Section 3 and supersedes the conflicting provisions of Executive Order 20-71 , Section 2 regarding on-premises food consumption. The bar provisions extend Executive Order 20-68, Section I as modified by Executive Order 20-71, Sections I and 2.



When Orange County Mayor Demings releases his Executive Order, The Daily City will update this guide.



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