All bars and nightclubs will be shut down for 30 days beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced in a press conference.
"I think the number one thing is, we don't want large crowds of people congregating right now," DeSantis said in the conference.
#BREAKING: Gov. Ron DeSantis orders all bars and nightclubs in Florida to shut down for 30 days. Earlier today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer barred alcohol sales for on-site consumption (bars, clubs, restaurants); liquor stores and home consumption not affected. #COVID19— NSM Today (@NSMtoday) March 17, 2020
The goal of this ban is to isolate the COVID-19 virus and prevent its further spread, DeSantis said. He said the congregation of people at bars can be "problematic."
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced earlier Tuesday in a press conference that all bars and restaurants are prohibited from selling alcohol. Liquor store sales and at-home consumption are not affected by this ban.
This ban goes into effect immediately and will last until at least March 31. The goal of this ban is to prevent social gatherings and the further spread of COVID-19, Dyer said.
"Each of us must make real sacrifices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives," Dyer said in a tweet.
Each of us must make real sacrifices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. Effective immediately @citybeautiful is prohibiting the sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages at bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels or other venues where alcohol is typically consumed.— Mayor Buddy Dyer (@orlandomayor) March 17, 2020
Both announcements come in the midst of St. Patrick's Day, when many bars and night clubs, like local UCF bar Knight Library and downtown's Wall Street Plaza, planned to host drink specials and celebrations.
Join us for our 14th annual St. Patty’s block party going down March 21st from 4pm-2am! We’ll be serving up $2 green 🍺’s and $5 car 💣’s all day and Knight! Hit the eventbrite link in our bio to snag those tix. RT/Like to enter our $50 bar tab giveaway. #rushlib🍀🍻🇮🇪🥃🚙💣 pic.twitter.com/AY1aPhvvLl— Knight Library (@KnightLibrary) February 24, 2020
While DeSantis ordered bars and nightclubs to close, restaurants and beaches will remain open at their own discretion, he said in the press conference.
On Monday, the CDC updated their guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus by telling Americans to limit social gatherings to 10 people or less, according to its website.
There are currently about 20 cases of the virus in Central Florida, with four in Orange County, according to the Florida Department of Health's website. In the state as a whole, there are 173 confirmed cases and six deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health.