TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Thursday morning to make to-go alcohol sales permanent in Florida.
The governor held the bill signing at Houligan’s, a sports bar and grill in Ormond Beach with other locations in Volusia County.
Gov. DeSantis issued an executive order last March at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic that allowed bars and restaurants to offer alcohol take-out or delivery orders.
“People were less likely to want to come out to restaurants, we knew that was going to cause a lot of problems in terms of their viability,” DeSantis said Thursday.
Later in the year, as the state started reopening, the governor hinted the move could be permanent. Lawmakers later introduced SB-148, which moved quickly through the Florida House and Senate.
“They wanted to make it done in a way that would benefit our restaurants and our bars but do it in a way that was obviously safe for the public, and I think they’ve done it,” DeSantis said.
According to the new beverage law, certain food service establishments and vendors can sell or deliver certain alcoholic beverages for consumption off-premises under certain circumstances. The beverages cannot be open containers.
Now that it’s been signed, the law will go in effect on July 1.