Voting unanimously, Pinellas County commissioners decided to let their safer-at-home order expire on Monday, May 4.
The vote, which happened on Friday, follows Governor Ron DeSantis’ first phase reopening the state, an order that allows restaurants and shops to reopen with limited capacity. Bars, pubs and nightclubs will remain closed, though.
Some Pinellas commissioners criticized the governor’s orders as “muddy.”
"He needs to be as clear as possible. Clear communication is so critical right now,” said Commissioner Charlie Justice. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri added "You can’t be clear with mud. That is what we got.”
Under the county commissioners’ vote, some businesses will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman already announced ttar change on April 30.
Enforcement penalties remain in place, including a second-degree misdemeanor with a fine up to $500, for businesses exceeding the 25% threshold.
Some added conditions are in place, though. Restaurants aren’t able to open bar seating yet, but they are able to open bar areas with table tops. The restaurants are also able to operate at a larger capacity with outdoor seating.
Pinellas County has been under a "safer-at-home" order since March 25.
Hillsborough county officials were ahead of Pinellas, voting a day earlier to let their safer-at-home order expire Monday.
Pinellas’ Board of County Commissioners are set to meet again May 5.
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