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The next step for coronavirus containment is here as the governor orders restaurants to close their dining rooms.


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Restaurants and food-service establishments in Florida have been directed to close dining rooms and use their kitchens solely for takeout and delivery purposes through May 8, according to an executive order issued this afternoon by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The order is to "take immediate effect," and could be "terminated or amended" before or after the current May 8 time frame. 

The directive suspends the sale of alcohol for onsite consumption, but allows restaurants and breweries to sell alcohol for "consumption off-premises" with the presentation of a valid ID. Restaurants will also be allowed to sell package alcohol for takeout and delivery with food orders, something prior mandates prohibited. 

It also orders the closure of gymnasiums and fitness centers. 

The order comes three days after the governor mandated restaurants to limit seating to 50% capacity and space tables at least six feet apart in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

"The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) shall utilize its authorities under Florida law to further implement and enforce the provisions of this executive order and shall take additional measures as necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare," a news release stated. 

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

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