Businesses can get back to normal as occupancy restrictions lifted

Effective Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an immediate Executive Order removing most COVID-19 occupancy restrictions on businesses and restaurants across the state.  Executive Order 20-244 went into effect on September 25, 2020 and transitions the state to “Phase 3” of the COVID-19 reopening process.  The long-awaited Executive Order was effective upon issuance.

Visit to review Executive Order 20-244 before taking any action on this report.  St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center Hotline can be reached by telephone between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 904.824.5550 for additional information.

The new Executive Order provides the following:

  1. Removes state-level restrictions on businesses, such as restaurants.
  2. Provides that no COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or operating a business.
  3. Provides that restaurants may not be limited by a COVID-19 emergency order by any local government to less than 50% of their indoor capacity.
  4. States that, if a restaurant is limited to less than 100% of its indoor capacity, such COVID-19 emergency order must satisfy the following:
    1. Quantify the economic impact of each limitation or requirements on those restaurants
    2. Explain why each limitation or requirement is necessary for public health.
  5. Suspends all outstanding fines and penalties, and the collection of such moving forward, applied against individuals related to COVID-19.

Executive Order 20-244 supersedes and eliminates all restrictions of Executive Orders 20-112, 20-123, and 20-139, 20-192, 20-214, and 20-223, except as modified per the State.

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