ORLANDO, Fla. — Two downtown Orlando nightclubs received citations and one downtown bar got a warning over the weekend as Orange County continued its crackdown on businesses that remain out of compliance with coronavirus safety protocols.
What You Need To Know
- Orange County coronavirus safety "strike teams" visited businesses this past weekend
- 2 downtown Orlando nightclubs received citations, a 3rd business got a warning
- Executive order issued last month after 0 of 11 bars were found to be noncompliant
Officials issued fines to music/entertainment venues Celine and The Social, according to a county government spreadsheet that details citations and warnings.
The county said that, as of Monday afternoon, its so-called compliance strike teams have issued seven citations and 17 warnings to businesses since Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings signed into effect an emergency executive order that gave officials authority to fine businesses for repeat violations.
The executive order calls for businesses to ensure that employees wear face coverings when within six feet of someone else. It calls for businesses to post safety signage reminding workers and patrons to comply with social distancing and face-covering standards. It also calls for them to monitor the safety standards of their workplaces and to include markers for purposes of social distancing.
The executive order came shortly after strike teams dropped in on 11 downtown bars during one November weekend and found none in compliance.
Demings said Monday that the one warning and two citations came among 17 bars and nightclubs that the strike teams visited Saturday night.
“I think with the incentive of fines, people adjust their behavior,” Demings said.
The citations include fines of $300, which businesses can contest, but they could face court costs and increased fines, said Orange County spokeswoman Despina McLaughlin.
Businesses that receive warnings get 14 days to comply before another strike-team visit, she said.
Strike teams as of Monday afternoon had visited a total of 5,819 businesses, with a 98% compliance rate, Demings said.
Before the weekend, several businesses asked for courtesy visits from strike teams to “kind of get an idea of what they would need to do to be able to comply,” said Tim Boldig, who leads the county’s strike teams. “That worked out really well, because several of those were not in compliance at that time.”