DeSantis to Restaurants: Open Wide

ST PETERSBURG -- Governor Ron DeSantis tells Florida's bars and restaurants they can reopen at full capacity.

He announced an order that lifts all local serving restrictions. Local governments may not reenact any rules requiring 50 percent or lower capacity, and tells local governments they'll have to justify any restrictions between 50 and 100 percent.

The governor said it's time to lift restrictions. "You can't just say no... after six months... and leave (businesses) twisting in the wind.

DeSantis broke down some numbers showing the COVID-19 survival rate, saying that for people under 50, it's higher than for the flu. "Most hospitalizations and mortality" are in those over 50, DeSantis said, and he said he'll focus on protecting that population. "Rather than try to close things, you want an age-specific strategy.

The governor also suspended all fines imposed by local communities for people not wearing masks.

DeSantis also denounced the protesters who threw skateboards at a car and harassed outdoor diners at restaurants Wednesday evening, saying "mobs harassing innocent people" is simply unacceptable... our legislation will certainly deal with that." It came two days after he unveiled legislation that would make certain violent acts during protests into felonies, and would relieve penalties on drivers caught up in protests who try to break out of them

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