As Florida restaurants and bars enjoyed their first full day of operation without Covid-19 restrictions in months, the mayor of Miami warned that the governor’s decision to fully reopen such establishments and to limit local governments’ ability to enforce their own restrictions could have devastating consequences.

“I think it’s going to have a huge impact,” Mayor Francis Suarez told CNN on Saturday about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to allow restaurants, bars and other businesses to open at full capacity and to suspend fines for all outstanding penalties issued to those who didn’t follow Covid-19 restrictions — such as not wearing a mask in public. “You know, I just don’t know how many people are actually going to do it now.”

DeSantis signed an executive order on Friday evening allowing restaurants and bars to immediately begin operating at 100% capacity. He cited the economic hardships of not operating businesses at full capacity, according to the order.

Suarez said mandating mask wearing in public and slowly reopening has helped to keep the coronavirus case count down in Miami.

There have been nearly 700,000 cases of coronavirus in Florida and the virus has killed more than 14,000 people in the state, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Nationwide, more than 7 million people have been infected and 204,497 have died.

Suarez said he’s concerned that the changes in the state are coming as flu season ramps up and schools prepare for in-person learning to begin in mid-October.

“We’ll see in the next couple of weeks whether he’s right about his perspective. But if he’s wrong about his perspective … it’s going to be very, very, very difficult for him and it’s going to be a very difficult time, because it’s in the middle of flu season,” Suarez said.

Source : CNN

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