Florida Enacts First Wide-Ranging Shutdown Measures

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth Synopsis: Friday afternoon, Governor Ron DeSantis issued a series of executive orders enacting activity and operational limitations in the State of Florida. The executive orders address government meetings, Broward and Palm Beach County closures, Alcohol sales, restaurants, and gyms, and non-elective medical procedures.

First, Executive Order 2020-69 suspends the operation of any Florida statute that requires a quorum or for a local government body to meet in a particular place.

Second, Executive Order 2020-70 directs all restaurants, lounges, breweries, clubs, and similar establishments with seating for more than 10 people that are located in Broward and Palm Beach County to close on-premises service. The order allows restaurants to provide delivery services. The order expressly carves out grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and convenience stores, as well as restaurants that are ancillary to essential services, like airports and hospitals. The order also directs movie theaters, concert hall, gyms (except for gyms in hotels), and beaches to close. The order is to remain in effect until March 31, 2020.

Third, Executive Order 2020-71 imposes a narrower closure order, but one in effect across the State of Florida. This order prohibits the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption and suspends regulations that prohibit establishments from selling packages of alcohol for delivery as long as the alcoholic beverage is sealed, accompanied by food, and otherwise complies with existing regulations. This order also directs all gyms and fitness centers to close but, unlike the Broward/Palm Beach order, does not address movie theaters, concert halls, and beaches.

Fourth, Executive Order 2020-72 prohibits any hospital from performing any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure. Examples of such procedures included in the order are endoscopy, most cataract and lens surgeries, non-urgent spine and orthopedic procedures, and cosmetic procedures.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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