ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A curfew that has been in place in the Orlando area for more than a month due to the coronavirus pandemic will be lifted Monday, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced.
The curfew, currently in effect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., will end at 5:01 a.m. Monday.
“I can’t thank the residents of Orange County enough for abiding by the curfew. Very few arrests were made since we instituted that over a month ago and this really helped to give a sense of security to the community while dealing with the pandemic,” Demings said.
The curfew was enacted on March 20 to keep people in their homes and off the roads to stop the spread of COVID-19. The move came just days after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all bars and nightclubs to shut down. As of now, they still remain shuttered.
Restaurants and retailers can start serving customers again at 25% capacity now that Florida has entered phase one of reopening the economy. When asked about enforcement, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said his deputies won’t be actively seeking out violations but any resident who notices a business that is not compliant can report that complaint and law enforcement will investigate.
“I’m very, very proud of the way Orange County has responded to the orders. Everyone seems to be in compliance, we’re happy about that,” Mina said.
When asked about whether some downtown Orlando restaurants may start to shift into a bar-like atmosphere in the later hours, Mayor Buddy Dyer said there will be officers located in that area who can educate any potential violators.
Mina said that even after the curfew is lifted, residents need to be cognizant of social distancing rules and continue taking steps to stop the spread of the deadly respiratory illness.
“We just want to ask all of our residents to continue to be vigilant about looking out for the health of themselves and their families and not unnecessarily go out and possibly spread the virus,” Mina said.
Also on Monday, hair salons, nail salons and barbershops across Florida will be able to start providing services once again.
Demings advocated for those shops to be able to open and he said he is glad DeSantis listened to him and other state leaders and business owners. He also credited a discussion the governor attended at an Orange County salon on Saturday.
“I believe their conversation was persuasive and the governor listened,” Demings said.