Jacksonville area bars and restaurants reopening at 50% occupancy

Bars now serving at half capacity

Jacksonville, FL. — Bars across the state of Florida, and in the Jacksonville area, reopened Monday at 50% occupancy.

On Thursday, Sept. 10, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) announced EO 20-09 would be rescinded as of Monday, Sept. 14.

DBPR Secretary, Halsey Beshears, at the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis, issued the Emergency Order to reopen bars at and restaurants at half capacity.

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The DBPR stated via Twitter what bars must do to comply with safety measures.

“Bars that reopen today must manage their operations to ensure: indoor occupancy is limited to 50% of seating capacity, service is restricted to seated patrons, and appropriate social distancing is observed at indoor and outdoor seating areas,” read the tweet from the DBPR.

Action News Jax reached out to the DBPR Monday, asking what would be done to ensure that bars comply with safety measures.

We received the following statement, "With issuance of DBPR Emergency Order 2020-10, all current and active alcoholic beverage vendor licenses in counties that are currently in Phase 2 of Florida’s recovery plan will be able to operate pursuant to the parameters of Executive Order 20-139, beginning Monday, September 14,” said DBPR Deputy Communications Director, Patrick R. Fargason.

“Executive Order 20-139, which established Phase 2 of the state’s recovery plan, provides that bars and other vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverage vendors may operate at fifty percent of the facility’s indoor seating capacity, allow bar service to seated patrons, and permit outdoor seating and service with appropriate social distancing. The Department will continue to maintain an increased statewide enforcement effort with emphasis on monitoring restaurants and bars for compliance with these operating requirements.”