Gov. DeSantis discontinues COVID restrictions

After more than a year since the global pandemic began, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference just before signing an executive order to discontinue COVID restrictions across the state Monday. State legislators also set precedent for future emergency management in a bill DeSantis also signed at the conference.

Both the order and the bill go into effect July 1st. In the meantime, the governor suspended all emergency orders.

“The legislation creates a default legal presumption that during any emergency our business should be free from government mandates to close and our schools remain open for in-person instruction for our children,” DeSantis explained. Later on, he called these mandates “abuses.”

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DeSantis held the conference at The Big Catch, a waterfront restaurant in St. Petersburg. Previously, local ordinances fined this restaurant for not following COVID regulations. The governor remitted outstanding fines for individuals and businesses in March. So, the restaurant never had to pay up. DeSantis said he will continue to remit fines in the future.

This comes after widespread vaccinations across the state. About 9 million Floridians have been vaccinated according to the governor. DeSantis admitted that lately, the old emergency orders were “unjustifiable.”

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“My message is: the vaccines protect you, get vaccinated, and then live your life as if you’re protected,” DeSantis said. “You don’t have to chafe under restrictions ad infinitum.”

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