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DeSantis cancels COVID-related fines for businesses, people

Under the new order, local governments can't collect fines related to local coronavirus restrictions.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis has canceled the collections of fines for violations of local governments' COVID-related restrictions. 

In an executive order issued Wednesday, the governor granted clemency to both businesses and individuals who may have been fined for violating a local government restriction put in place over the past year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

This applies to any fines given out between March 1, 2020, and March 10, 2021.

In September, the governor put a halt to local governments collecting fines from individuals who violated local mask mandates. That executive order did not extend to businesses. 

This executive order does not apply to assisted living facilities, hospitals or other health care providers. 

Here in Tampa, several bars recently were cited for violating the city's local mask mandate and were ordered to temporarily shut down. 

"The Governor’s Order Number 21-65 is not applicable to the City’s recent hearings which involved zoning code violations. This enforcement of zoning permit conditions is not imposition of a COVID-19 fine specified in the Governor’s recent Order," the city wrote. 

In St. Petersburg, the mayor's office gave 10 Tampa Bay the following statement: 

"We will review this action," a spokesperson wrote. "It is worth noting that local actions and protocols have helped to keep Floridians safe and healthy, and Ron DeSantis has benefitted from that. Time and again, in the absence of state leadership and a coherent strategy, cities like St. Petersburg have had to take the lead. We will continue to do so as best we can."

You can read the full executive order here:


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