TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Chief Justice Charles Canady today issued an order allowing courts around Florida to lift requirements to wear masks and distance from others while in courtrooms during proceedings.
Improved health measurements, increased vaccination rates, and updated official health guidance prompted the change, officials said.
“At this time, effective vaccines for COVID-19 are adequately available in Florida for persons ages 12 and older; almost half of this state’s population has been partially or fully vaccinated, and government-issued health standards and guidance provide that fully vaccinated persons do not need to wear face masks or physically distance in most indoor and outdoor settings unless required by federal, state, or local laws, rules, or regulations,” the administrative order states.
The order prioritizes jury trials, with criminal trials taking precedence, by directing most other proceedings be conducted remotely to focus facility and other resources on in-person trials.
“Trial court proceedings shall continue to be remotely conducted, as appropriate, to facilitate the efficient and expeditious processing of cases,” the order states.
Chief judges may drop the mask and distancing requirements in courtrooms during proceedings as soon as June 21, and no later than August 2.