Florida suspends consumption of alcohol at bars statewide, effective immediately

On-site consumption of alcohol has been stopped statewide as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Minutes after the leaders of Jacksonville-area beaches announced they would cut off alcohol sales at bars at midnight, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced a statewide suspension of on-site alcohol consumption at all bars.

“Based on recent increases in COVID-19 cases and non-compliance with previous orders, DBPR has taken action to suspend on-premises alcohol sales at bars. DBPR believes this is a necessary step to take to protect public health as we continue working in partnership with industry and health officials to combat COVID-19,” DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears said.

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The statewide executive order means:

  • Alcoholic beverage sales for on-site drinking is suspended, effective immediately, according to an Emergency Order 2020-09 from the DBPR.
  • Any vendor that derives more than 50% of gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages must suspend the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption. Sales can be made for to-go alcohol as long as it is consumed off-site.
  • Licensed restaurants also may continue to operate for on-premises consumption of food and beverages at tables as long as 50% or less of their sales are alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.

At Jacksonville’s beaches:

  • Everything from the state order applies
  • Restaurants and bars cannot sell any alcohol after midnight

Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham said the extended hours permit was voluntarily adopted years ago, and allowed for sales between midnight at 2 am.

“We recognize that we’re seeing a pretty decent spike in cases primarily because of the impact at the bars,” Latham said.

The beaches mayors did not announce a mandatory requirement on masks, for now.

“We look around the state and we see those that have required them really aren’t seeing a true benefit,” Latham said.

COVID-19 alcohol changes at Florida bars