Restrictions put on bars to stop the spread of COVID-19 are upsetting bar owners

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Local bar owners have been scrambling all morning to figure out how to deal with the latest shut down. 

This announcement came as a shock to many business owners… Especially after they were just given the green light to reopen three weeks ago.

“We woke up this morning to a bunch of ruckus on facebook and we are running around crazy trying to figure out what is true and not true,” said Scott Jackson, the owner of The Salty Hobo.

Due to the recent spike in covid-19 cases, The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation issued an emergency order restricting bars from serving alcohol to customers inside – and only allowing to go drinks.

This has local bar owners like Jackson not only worrying about his business, but also his employees.

“We got a lot of staff that are going to be out of a job again,” said Jackson “You know how fun unemployment’s been.”

The new restriction has led some bars to close their doors temporarily. However it doesn’t affect restaurants where 50 percent of their revenue comes from food sales.

“I think it’s not fair for the restaurants to serve alcohol and food and i’m just a bar that has games and stuff so it’s not fair to shut me down while everybody else makes money,” said Bill York.

York is the owner of Foghorns in Panama City Beach. He says he is not happy about the new rule, but has a plan to keep business coming in.

“I can still serve drinks to go so that’s what i’m gonna do.”

Bars are allowed to sell drinks in “sealed containers” for off-site consumption. There is no timeline for how long the executive order will remain in effect.

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