Alachua County Releases Emergency Order 2020-03 Updating Non-Essential Assembly Restrictions

​“Pursuant to the County’s Authority under §252.38, Florida Statutes, this Order shall supersede any prior order or order of any municipality within Alachua County to the extent that order is inconsistent with the terms of this Order. However, any municipality within Alachua County may exceed the minimum requirements set forth herein except upon property owned by Alachua County, which shall be solely governed by the provisions of this Order.”


1. All non-essential places of public assembly (defined below), indoor and outdoor, shall be limited in occupancy to 50% of permitted occupancy load. The term "non-essential place of public assembly" means any place, indoor or outdoor, where people gather for deliberation, worship, entertainment, eating, drinking, amusement, awaiting transportation, or similar uses; but shall EXCLUDE the following, which are considered "essential": pharmacies, grocery stores, convenience stores, private offices, banks, hotel, hospitals, medical service providers, medical supply stores, hardware stores, gasoline service stations, automotive supply/repair centers, airports, licensed child care facilities and bus stations. Other "essential" places of public assembly not specifically listed may be excluded by the County Manager.

2. As set forth in Emergency Order 2020-02 and pursuant to the Governor’s Emergency Order 20-68 all non-essential places of public assembly that serve food and/or beverages for consumption on premises may only be open to the public between the hours of 6:00am to 9:00pm daily and shall be limited to service at tables. Hand sanitizer or an alternative method of disinfecting hands must be available. Tables should be removed or patrons seated so that each occupied table is a minimum of six feet from the closest occupied table. Seating of groups shall be limited to parties of no more than 10. Seating at bars in restaurants is prohibited. Individuals shall not be permitted to be served or consume food and/or beverages while standing. These restrictions do not apply to take­‑out and/or delivery service.

3. Consistent with the Governor’s Order the restaurants (as licensed under chapter 500 or Chapter 509, Florida Statutes) shall implement employee screening and prohibit any employee from entering the restaurant premises if they answer any of the questions below with a yes:

a. Have you returned from international travel or been on a cruise within the last 14 days?

b. Have you been in contact with anyone who has returned from international travel or been on a cruise within the last 14 days?

c. Have you been in any gathering of 50 people or more in the last 14 days?

d. Have you traveled to any area known to have high numbers of positive cases of COVID-19, including but not limited to California, Washington, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.?

e. Have you experienced signs or symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath?

4. Licensed Child Care facilities shall comply with the following employee screening:

a. Have you returned from international travel or been on a cruise within the last 14 days?

b. Have you been in contact with anyone who has returned from international travel or been on a cruise within the last 14 days?

c. Have you been in any gathering of 50 people or more in the last 14 days?

d. Have you traveled to any area known to have high numbers of positive cases of  COVID-19, including but not limited to California, Washington, New York, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.?

e. Have you experienced signs or symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath?

5. Consistent with the Governor’s Order, bars and lounges shall close at 5:00 p.m. on March 17, 2020, and remain closed for 30 days or until a subsequent order is issued.

6. Public gatherings of more than 10 individuals are discouraged and may be ordered to disperse.

7. While this Order is not closing restaurants, the public is urged to patronize those restaurants which offer take out, or drive through. In patronizing any facility the public is urged to engage in social distancing.

8. Unless necessary, the public is urged to stay at home.

Prior Emergency Orders remain in force and effect unless modified or superseded.

Any violation of these emergency measures shall subject the violator to arrest and criminal prosecution pursuant to Section 252.50, Florida Statutes or as any other violation of county ordinances. Additionally, the County will direct any establishment to cease and desist operations that are in violation of this Emergency Directive. 

For more information, contact Alachua County Communications Director Mark Sexton at 352-264-6979 or msexton@alachuacounty.us​.

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