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Certain downtown Orlando bars could get a lot of traffic this Halloween weekend amid COVID-19 pandemic

City announced they will allow open containers in high traffic areas

ORLANDO, Fla. – City officials announced they will allow open containers in some high traffic areas on Saturday.

“So the perimeter is going to be Church Street to the south, Washington Street to the north, Garland to the west, and Magnolia to the east,” Chief Orlando Rolón said.

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Timothy Green who owns 534 Scratch Kitchen said he was excited to learn COVID-19 would not cancel Halloween at his bar near Church Street.

“I didn’t think there was going to be an event until next year, to be honest with you,” Green said.

Orange County’s top health officer Dr. Raul Pino issued a warning to Orange County citizens after city leaders permitted the measure to avoid crowding indoors.

“You have to be alert, you have to assume that everyone has the virus,” Dr. Pino said.

Green said he is prepared and has planned a series of Halloween themed activities at his business within the restrictions handed down by the city.

“We’ll definitely have some social distance measures in place, temperature checks at the door, and two additional rooms that we can expand the restaurant,” Green said.

During a news conference, Mayor Jerry Demings said Orlando police and the city have partnered to ensure the safety of bar owners and patrons.

“Our compliance teams have been dispatched throughout the community and they are there to help remind businesses of the various CDC guidelines, they will continue being out even through the weekend,” Mayor Demings said.

Despite social distancing rules and mass gathering bans, Green said he has to be prepared.

“I think you are always going to have irresponsible people,” Green said.

Mayor Demings said ambassadors will be downtown and in communication with bar, owners to ensure they are following best practices.

Meanwhile, county health officials continue to diligently monitor COVID-19 cases

“Any event, any holiday, any large number of people concentrating and gathering is a  concern for this disease. And Halloween will not be different,” Dr. Raul Pino said.

Police said they are restricting open containers in parking garages or surface parking lots.


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