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County grants permission for outdoor seating

By Staff | May 12, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais

On May 1, Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais signed an order providing a temporary policy for additional outdoor seating at restaurants so business owners can expand outdoor seating while maintaining Centers for Disease Control social distancing, as outlined by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“Understanding that public health, safety and welfare remains critical during this pandemic, Lee County’s goal is to help facilitate the restarting of our economy,” Desjarlais said. “We know how crucial it is for people who are currently unemployed to get back to work.”

DeSantis’ executive order on April 29 adopted the recommendations in his phase 1 plan published by his Task Force to Re-Open Florida, establishing outdoor seating area guidelines for restaurants. They include a requirement for social distancing at outdoor tables of 6 feet. The order allows restaurants to reopen at 25 percent indoor capacity.

The Lee County order allows restaurants to place seating in areas not previously allowed, such as a business’ parking lot. At the point in time when the governor allows restaurants to operate at 100 percent capacity, the county order will remain in place for five additional calendar days.

Desjarlais signed the order under his authority within the Lee County Board of County Commissioners’ state of local emergency. All temporary outdoor seating must satisfy the criteria listed in the order.

The order will be posted at www.leegov.com/covid-19 under the “documents and resolutions” section, or www.leegov.com/covid-19/documents.