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Florida’s bars to reopen with 50 percent capacity on Monday

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TALLAHASSEE — The state will allow bars to reopen at 50 percent capacity starting Monday, Florida’s top business regulator announced via Twitter Thursday evening.

Halsey Beshears, the secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, said that officials will rescind Executive Order 20-09, which forced some standalone bars and breweries to essentially shut down earlier this summer in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bars and breweries that do not have substantial food menus have been banned from selling alcohol on-site since June 26. Beshears did not mention in his announcement whether bars would have to undergo special screening or protocol in order to reopen.

An emergency order signed by Beshears said Florida would move to allow bars to serve alcohol again because “the State’s emergency management plan, as it relates to COVID-19 now, is negatively impacted” by the existing order — the order banning the sale of alcohol at bars.

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