Florida to Reopen Bars Monday as Covid-19 Hospitalizations Slow
A pedestrian passes in front of a closed cafe in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. (Photographer: Marco Bello/Bloomberg)

Florida to Reopen Bars Monday as Covid-19 Hospitalizations Slow

Florida plans to reopen bars next week as the state’s June and July resurgence of Covid-19 waned, but Miami’s party zone will remain dark.

Bars will reopen at 50% occupancy Monday, and the state is rescinding the executive order that had kept them closed, according to a tweet late Thursday from Halsey Beshears, Florida’s secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

The late-June move to end bar-drinking was among Florida’s most forceful measures to tamp down on the viral wave that started that month. Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has largely deferred to local governments on measures such as mask mandates.

Those governments still have the power to implement more stringent measures. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Wednesday that he didn’t expect to reopen bars and nightclubs until there is a vaccine.

Miami-Dade is Florida’s most populous county and the hardest hit by the pandemic. But even there, the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals has fallen to about a quarter of peak July levels.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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