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Florida bans alcohol at bars, closes some beaches for July Fourth

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  • Florida has seen a troubling spike in new coronavirus cases in recent days. 
  • In response, several counties in the state have decided to close their beaches for the Fourth of July weekend. 
  • The state has also ordered bars — which were allowed to reopen on June 3 — to stop selling alcohol. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In response to rising coronavirus cases in the state, Florida has ordered bars to stop serving alcohol and some counties have decided to close their beaches for the Fourth of July weekend. 

Florida is among a handful of states emerging as new virus hotspots in the US. On Saturday, the state reported 9,585 new cases, a single-day record high since the start of the pandemic, according to CNN

In response, state and local officials are scaling back the state’s reopening.

Florida coronavirus testing site

People wait for their testing at a “walk-in” and “drive-through” coronavirus testing site in Miami Beach, Florida on June 24, 2020.


CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images



On Friday, the secretary of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Halsey Beshears, tweeted that effective immediately, the consumption of alcohol at bars in the state was suspended.

This no doubt comes as a blow for bars, which were only allowed to reopen less than a month ago, on June 3. Beshears said that the order was in response to the growing number of coronavirus cases. 

Similarly, a few counties in Florida have taken matters into their own hands and made the decision to close their beaches for the Fourth of July weekend. 

The closures affect beaches in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. That impacts the popular beach towns of Miami, Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. 

Broward County officials made the announcement at a news conference on Sunday, during which some attendees heckled the gathered mayors.

“Obviously this decision is not unanimous, right, you can hear it,” Mayor Dean Trantalis of Fort Lauderdale said during the press conference.

“Not everyone’s going to be happy about that decision and we always understand that sometimes decisions have to be made so that we can protect the majority of people. So we just ask that you understand and try to respect what we’re trying to do for the general public.”

miami beach coronavirus mask

A woman walks along empty Ocean Drive in Miami Beach while wearing a mask and gloves on April 13, 2020.

Taylor Borden/Business Insider


In addition to closing beaches, Miami-Dade County is also banning gatherings of Independence Day parades of more than 50 people.

Masks and social distancing are required, and fireworks can only be viewed from home or a parked vehicle, according to CNN. 

Florida isn’t the only state reimposing coronavirus restrictions after a new spike in cases.

Officials in California and Texas — two states also combatting rising coronavirus numbers — also shut bars to avoid further spread of the virus.

People had flocked to beaches, lakes, and pools during Memorial Day Weekend in May. The increased activity and lack of social distancing had contributed to a new surge of coronavirus cases.

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