Some Florida Restaurants and Bars Closing Again After Employees and Customers Contract Coronavirus

While Florida continues to move through its phased reopening of the state in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, some road bumps have come in the form of increasing positive cases, including at some restaurants and bars that now have to shut down after recently reopening. A week removed from entering Phase 2, the Tampa Bay Times reports at least three bars in the area shut down after workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Two of the bars are in Jacksonville Beach, including Wreck Tiki Lounge, which issued a statement on Facebook. The owner, Fernando Meza, wrote that they became aware of individuals who visited that had tested positive for the coronavirus. The bar will close for a "few days" as they do a deep clean of the establishment and get their employees tested. Kiwi's Pub & Grill is another joint that had to shut its doors briefly. Located in Altamonte Springs, the bar shared in its announcement on Friday that at least six patrons reported to the owners that they had tested positive, "This may seem like an extravagant step, however we are taking no chances." The Galley also was another place that was impacted with the coronavirus, this time coming in the form of their workers. An exact amount was not listed, but a "few" tested positive and those few will be quarantined for 14 days according to a post made by the St. Petersburg restaurant. All of their employees will need to be tested before opening back up.

Over the weekend, Florida saw back-to-back days with more than 2,000 positive cases with Saturday seeing a record 2,581 cases. These statistics come as the state has been among the first in reopening at a faster pace than others with Gov. Ron DeSantis not growing all that concerned. In a press conference following the spike in numbers, DeSantis downplayed the increase by saying, "the good thing about that is these are people in low risk groups." As such, he explained that those cases don't need to be hospitalized.


With the state moving full steam ahead in its reopening, the Florida economy is hoping to see a major bounce back with many of its theme parks in Orlando and the surrounding area opening up. Universal Studios and SeaWorld, among others, have already opened their gates. Walt Disney World is scheduled to do the same on July 11 with two of its four parks opening first and the other two following suit on July 15.