- Photo courtesy Mayor Buddy Dyer/Facebook
During an interview with ABC News on Tuesday, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said that he couldn’t see how bars could reopen safely in Orlando until a vaccine for coronavirus is developed.
“I think bars are in one of the most difficult situation because, unlike a restaurant where you might go with your family and sit in a booth and be able to isolate or socially distance, when you go to a bar you’re going there to interact with people,” said Dyer. “You’re not going there to sit in a corner and drink your beer by yourself.”
Dyer defended restaurants and area theme parks and the social distancing and sanitizing protocols they have adopted, before dropping a very pessimistic prediction for bars in Orlando.
“I just don’t know how, until probably we have a vaccine, I’m not sure how we bring bars back,” said Dyer.
Though the Mayor’s office later clarified that the he was just speaking for himself in the interview and not issuing any official policy, this is just more bad news for local businesses trying to stay afloat during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
From bars to concert venues and breweries, the businesses in this once-vibrant sector of our local economy are struggling and facing down an uncertain future.
Many local bar owners and workers assert they are are being unfairly singled out, with restaurants able to serve alcohol and remain open with no additional oversight.
If these small business are to remain closed until next year (optimistically), economic assistance and grants are needed sooner than later.
Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears issued the order to close all bars in Florida back in June shortly after they initially reopened in Gov. DeSantis’ phased reopening plan for Florida. Beshears and DBPR officials have been holding meetings with bar owners around Florida for the last few days to discuss reopening strategies and plans.
Orlando is not currently on the list of cities that Beshears is visiting. Though he did meet with a group of Tampa Bay bar owners earlier this week.
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