Florida Governor DeSantis Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions, What This Means For AEW & WWE

AEW and WWE’s current home state for shows, Florida, is open for business again with all remaining state-level COVID-19 restrictions lifted. In a report provided by the Orlando Sentinel, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order to remove all remaining restrictions on businesses related to the pandemic, including bars and restaurants.

The order moves Florida into what DeSantis is calling their phase three stage of reopening, with the governor saying:

“What that’ll mean for the restaurants is there will not be limitations from the state of Florida. We’re also saying in the state of Florida everybody has a right to work. (Local governments) can do reasonable regulations, but they can’t just say no.”

WWE and AEW both run their tapings for television in the state, with WWE running shows out of the Amway Center and Full Sail University while AEW tapes Dynamite at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville. In terms of direct impact on WWE and AEW, there will not necessarily be any; DeSantis says that the order doesn’t affect sports venues or theme parks because there were no state-imposed restrictions on them currently. He did note of course that each business has the capability of imposing their own social distancing and mask requirements.

The executive order prohibits local governments from shutting down businesses due to COVID-19 concerns or collecting fines related to pandemic-related mandates such as requiring masks, which the outlet reports led to “least one Central Florida county being inundated with calls asking if people no longer have to wear one.”

The order also says that local governments cannot prevent restaurants from operating at under 50%, though they can limit to 50% for bars and restaurants if they can provide an economic and health-based justification.

The order also prevents local governments from collecting any outstanding fines they levied as part of pandemic issues, though they are not required to refund those who have already paid fines.

The state is still operating under a State of Emergency due to the pandemic, which remains in effect until Tuesday, November 3rd.

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