Florida to reopen bars starting Monday after monthslong COVID-19 shutdown

Bars will again be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, which was permitted for just three weeks after Gov. Ron DeSantis began the second phase of reopening on June 3.

“I would say that’s one of the best bits of news I’ve heard in a while,” said John Cheek, president of Orlando Brewing Co. south of downtown, when told that the ban had been lifted. “It would be good to get back to some sense of normalcy.”

Jacob Weil, a lawyer who represents bar owners suing the state over the shutdown, said he was glad DeSantis was allowing proprietors to reopen.

“Unfortunately, due to the delayed action he took, and unchecked power he allowed Secretary Beshears to take in this unprecedented time, thousands of establishments will never reopen, and those that do will likely never be able to climb out of this hole the state has put them in,” Weil said in a text message.