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DeSantis Extends Order Blocking Business Shutdowns During Pandemic

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended a September executive order aimed at preventing business shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two-page extension, issued Tuesday, said the state “continues to suffer economic harm as a result of COVID-19 related closures, exacerbating the impacts of the State of Emergency, and Floridians should not be prohibited by local governments from working or operating a business.”

The extension is slated to last as long as Florida remains under a state of emergency during the pandemic. The Sept. 25 order barred local emergency ordinances that could “prevent an individual from working or from operating a business.”

It also prevented local governments from requiring restaurants to operate below 50 percent indoor capacity and required local governments to quantify the economic impact and the public-health need for limits on indoor capacity below 100 percent.

The September order also suspended the collection of penalties and fines for violations of such things as local mask ordinances, though it did not outright ban the ordinances.

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