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To-go alcohol might still be available in Florida even after the coronavirus pandemic

Governor hints at changing law

A barman wearing a protective face mask against the spread of COVID-19 virus pours a cocktail into a bottle for a home delivery, in a cocktail bar in Turin, northern Friday, April 24, 2020. Italy has been in lockdown containment measures since March 8.  (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP)
A barman wearing a protective face mask against the spread of COVID-19 virus pours a cocktail into a bottle for a home delivery, in a cocktail bar in Turin, northern Friday, April 24, 2020. Italy has been in lockdown containment measures since March 8. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP) (LaPresse)

SARASOTA, Fla. – Enjoying your favorite craft cocktail in the comfort of your own home has, for some, been the only perk of the coronavirus pandemic that has prevented restaurants and bars from serving customers in their establishments.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said he realizes Floridians like being able to grab to-go alcohol and he’s weighing options to see if it could still be allowed even after the local watering holes are able to open their doors again.

“I allowed (restaurants) to deliver alcohol, I think that’s been pretty popular. We’re probably going to keep that going, maybe we’ll have the legislature change the law on that, but I think that that’s been good,” DeSantis said.

The governor issued an executive order in late March that lifted the restrictions that prohibited specially licensed restaurants from selling packaged alcohol for delivery, take-out or consumption off-premises. That came around the same time that those eateries were forced to close their doors for dine-in in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Many Orlando-area restaurants have seen success with to-go cocktails, including Prato with its DIY and bottled beverages and geek gaming pub The Cloak & Blaster with its Twin Sun drink pouches.

Customers are still required to have a valid ID if they’re ordering alcohol to-go or for delivery.

Central Floridians are also reminded to be safe when traveling with alcohol in their vehicle. News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero cautions that alcohol must be sealed inside its container and cannot be opened in the car. It also needs to be out of the driver’s reach.

“My suggestion is to invest in a small box or container and place it securely inside your vehicle. With that, you have a place to put your food so it’s not moving around inside your car and you have completely eliminated any direct contact with any alcohol beverage, whether it’s opened or closed,” Montiero said.


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