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Future of Florida restaurants amid COVID

National Restaurant Association survey reveals 19% of operators in Florida don’t expect to be around in six months
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Posted at 5:39 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 05:39:13-05

FORT MYERS, Fla -- Industry experts fear a significant percentage of our state's restaurants won't be around in six months because of the pandemic.

Florida has less strict COVID dining restrictions that many other states. Still, a big recent hit to the industry was a story Fox 4 reported on in November. A study showed restaurants are among the most common places the virus is spreading. But during a press conference Tuesday, the governor spoke out and said that while restaurants have been at the top of the list, most people are getting it in their own homes.

"Most of the contact tracing that's been done has restaurants very low in terms of where these infections can be traced," said DeSantis.

He said he has no plans to shut down restaurants in our state to slow the spread of the virus, and said shutting them down will only lead people back to the place where they will get the virus anyway.

As Florida restaurants work to stay afloat despite that startling forecast from the restaurant association, one thing is working in our state's favor is the warmer weather.

According to The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, restaurants in Florida have spent the last nine months modifying their business models and implementing higher safety and sanitation procedures to keep customers safe. More than a dozen Southwest Florida spots have achieved the association's Seal of Commitment, which is its highest award: