State of Florida
Office of the Governor
Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-244, moving all of Florida’s 67 counties into Phase 3. Executive Order 20-244 does the following:
- Removes state-level restrictions on businesses, such as restaurants.
- Provides that no COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or operating a business, giving Floridians and business owners needed certainty and the ability to provide for themselves and their families.
- 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. If a restaurant is limited to less than 100% of its indoor capacity, such COVID-19 emergency order must satisfy the following:
- Quantify the economic impact of each limitation or requirements on those restaurants; and
- Explain why each limitation or requirement is necessary for public health.
- Suspends all outstanding fines and penalties, and the collection of such moving forward, applied against individuals related to COVID-19.
Executive Order 20-244 is effective immediately.
Pinellas County Emergency Management
Pinellas County COVID-19 ordinance still in effect
- Face coverings still required in indoor public places
- Bar and restaurant customers must be seated to be served
A Pinellas County ordinance put in place to facilitate safe reopening while slowing the spread of COVID-19 remains in effect, following the announcement of Phase 3 of the state’s Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step phased plan Friday.
Executive Order 20-244, signed by Governor DeSantis, does not impact the local ordinance Pinellas County adopted, including the face covering requirement for indoor facilities and that customers be seated to be served at a bar or restaurant.
While the governor’s order suspends the collection of fines and penalties associated with COVID-19 enforced upon individuals, it does not restrict counties and municipalities from enforcing rules on businesses.
The countywide ordinance 20-14 took effect in June and remains in effect through the duration of Pinellas County’s State of Local Emergency.
The ordinance defines a face covering as a material that covers the nose and mouth and remains affixed or a face shield. A cloth face covering, or mask, may be factory-made or sewn by hand and can be improvised from clothing or other household fabric items.
- Citizens must wear a face covering in indoor public places within Pinellas County, although the Board provided several exceptions. Among them:
- The County ordinance mandate cannot conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- The ordinance does not apply if a person is strictly adhering to social distancing and there are 10 or fewer people in the location who are also maintaining social distancing.
- It does not apply to governmental entities such as schools, courthouses or city halls, although those entities are encouraged to develop procedures to protect employees and the public.
- If a person is under age 18, that person’s use of a face covering to comply with the ordinance is left to the discretion of that person’s parent, guardian or an accompanying adult.
- Religious rituals such as various forms of singing are permitted under the ordinance provided that social distancing is strictly maintained.
- The ordinance does not prohibit exercising while social distancing, such as in a gym, without a face covering.
- Retail employees must wear face coverings unless working in an area of the business that is not open to the customers and has social distancing measures in place.