Local bars ordered to shut down immediately

Mandate comes after 9,000 positive COVID-19 cases reported in 24-hour span

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reversed his plans for a gradual reopening Friday by immediately restricting bars from selling alcohol on the premise. The emergency order came after the state reported 9,000 positive cases for COVID-19 since Thursday.

The order reads any business that relies on more than 50% of its gross revenues from selling alcohol must reduce its sales to selling beverages on sealed containers to be consumed away from the bar.

The order doesn’t affect restaurants that get more than 51% of its revenue from the sales of food, nor gymnasiums and fitness centers.

At the same time, DeSantis asked local officials to make sure all businesses continue to adhere to current social distancing guidelines, including keeping occupancy at less than 50%.

For more information, please call the St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center at (904) 824-5550.

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