‘No timetable’ for reopening Florida bars, says Gov. DeSantis

Ron DeSantis
Last call? Try no call, at least not yet.

Bars throughout the Sunshine State will stay closed, said Gov. Ron DeSantis, as coronavirus continues to rage.

In comments made Saturday in St. Augustine, DeSantis advised that he had “no timetable for reopening.”

“This was always a fluid process. There’s a lot of different issues at stake. We’ve got a task at hand, and that’s what we’re going to keep doing.”

“People have responded very positively over the last couple of weeks, and I hope that will be apparent in the numbers going forward,” DeSantis added.

For roughly three weeks in June, much of Florida reopened bars after closing them in March. Soon enough, they were closed again, as coronavirus proved resurgent.

With positive tests still routinely well over 10% statewide (“11 to 13%,” to quote the Governor), the story is largely the same as last week, when DeSantis resisted calls from the right and the alcohol-dependent to tap the kegs anew.

“Right now, we’re not making any changes. Status quo,” DeSantis said last week, adding that “we want to get this positivity rate down” until Florida is in a more “stable situation.”

The Governor said the state “plan” allowed bars to reopen at reduced capacity, but they couldn’t comply.

“The problem was no one was following that,” DeSantis added. “I get that’s not how they want to operate.”

“When we were getting reports of them just having packed party situations,” he added, “that was not a part of the guidelines.”

That created a game of “whack-a-mole” for DBPR, attempting to enforce guidelines on a sector seemingly unable to police itself.

“If the plan wasn’t being followed, then there just was not a way we’re going to do it,” DeSantis added.

The Governor, before closing bars again last month, expressed irritation with establishments that went rogue against his order.

“If you go in and it’s just like mayhem, like Dance Party USA, and it’s packed to the rafters, that’s just cut and dry, and that’s not just an innocent mistake,” DeSantis said.

What’s clear is that the Governor isn’t going to trust the bars to regulate themselves until a real flattening of the curve ensues, which may be soon but isn’t yet.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Sonja Fitch

    July 20, 2020 at 10:45 am

    The only time table duffus Desantis has is to do as the goptrump cult sociopath racist sexist liar trump tells him to do! People are dying because of your failure to serve and protect the people in Florida duffus Desantis!

  • Toni Yoh

    July 28, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    I’ve been serving drinks most of my life
    Please tell me how it is safer to eat food from others then it is to get a drink
    I work at rodeo rock Pensacola FL
    My boss spent lots of money to clean the way y’all have asked we also watch how seating is an yet we are closed I understand the bigger clubs are not doing as asked please help us understand why it does no matter if we can support our family’s

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn