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Florida drops Covid restrictions with 14,000 dead

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis eased restrictions on businesses the same day the state topped 14,000 dead - MANDEL NGAN / ©AFP

(AFP)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Friday scrapped Covid-19 restrictions on bars and restaurants the same day the US state saw 122 deaths topping 14,000 dead.

The executive order signed by DeSantis, a close Republican ally of President Donald Trump, “removes state-level restrictions on businesses, such as restaurants.”

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Floridians and business owners need “certainty and the ability to provide for themselves and their families,” the order reads in part.

It says that restaurants may not be limited by any local government COVID-19 emergency order “to less than 50 percent of their indoor capacity.”

The order also ends the collection of all outstanding fines and penalties relating to Covid-19 restrictions.

“In the state of Florida everybody has a right to work, DeSantis told reporters in St. Petersburg, where he announced the measure.

Florida is one of the epicenters of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the United States. There have been nearly 700,000 cases of Covid-19 and more than 14,000 have died from the virus, according to the state Department of Health.

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