Coronavirus: No alcohol consumption in Florida bars effective immediately, agency says
It was not immediately clear what this means for all establishments that serve alcohol: restaurants, restaurants with bars that serve alcohol or bars serving food.
The news comes as the state Friday smashed the daily record for new COVID-19 cases with 8,942 reported. That's a 62% increase over the previous record of 5,508 reported Wednesday.
Brien Spina, owner of ROW Seafood restaurant that also includes Off The Hook Comedy Club, said he's been operating at 50 percent capacity per the state's safety guidlelines.
But with Friday's announcement, he said he'll have to shut down again. The restaurant serves food and alcohol.
“We’re going to close after Saturday’s show," he said Friday.
“With 40 percent of my sales being alcohol, there’s no way for me to operate. We’re still a restaurant but there’s no upside for us to stay open. It’s just detrimental.”
Florida's total number of novel coronavirus cases is now at 122,960. The state has now added more cases since the Department of Health's June 10 morning report (56,960) than it did from the start of the pandemic in March through the end of May (56,163).
Spina reopened about a month ago, saying the restaurant has been at the 50 percent capacity most every night.
"We’ve been busy. We've had to police ourselves every night," he said.
"We've had to cut it off everyt night to stay within the guidelines. I know other people have pushed the limits and the state says it can't control every restaurant and bar so no more alcohol."
Spina said he was notifying customers who had tickets for Sunday's shows to see comedian Mike Marino that they're canceled.
Marino's shows were still on for Friday and Saturday but his staff won't be serving customers any alcohol, he said.
"They’ll just be able to drink sodas and eat good food and laugh," Spina added.