ORLANDO, Fla. – In order to keep large crowds from gathering inside bars during what could be a busy Halloween weekend, city leaders told News 6 plans are in place to help prevent a spread of the coronavirus as best as possible.
That involves allowing individuals to carry open containers outside to avoid crowding indoors within a high traffic area downtown that runs from Washington Street to Church Street.
“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,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said.
“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.
News 6 followed along as downtown Orlando ambassadors handed out free personal protective equipment to businesses on Friday, ahead of the Halloween festivities.
This will be the first holiday weekend for bars in Florida after reopening last month. It’s a night that’s usually one of the busiest for the downtown businesses.
News 6 spoke to bar owners ahead of Halloween, who told News 6 they’re downplaying Halloween this year, which means no costume contests or giveaways, in order to balance business and public safety.
“Honestly, we have to prepare ourselves for the most amount of people and hope for the least amount of people,” said John SanFelippo, managing member of several bars, including The Beacham.