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Four Alcohol Licenses Suspended Over COVID-19 Violations

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Alcoholic beverage licenses of four establishments were suspended by the state Tuesday because of violations of rules aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced the emergency suspensions of licenses for Pegasus Lounge & Package in Tampa, Mathers, Shots and Joysticks in Orlando, Rusty’s Raw Bar and Grill in Lee County and Pockets Pool & Pub in Tallahassee.

The state agency reported the businesses exceeded a 50 percent maximum indoor capacity limit and served alcohol to patrons who were “shoulder to shoulder” in bar areas.

Department Secretary Halsey Beshears on June 26 prohibited the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption at businesses that derive more than 50 percent of their gross revenue from the sale of alcohol.

The move essentially closed most bars and nightclubs, though establishments could remain open if they had enough revenue from food sales.

Beshears made the move because bars were violating requirements that had been put in place to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

Beshears has held private meetings recently with craft brewery and bar owners to discuss ways for the businesses to reopen. The agency hasn’t announced what has been discussed or what actions could be taken to assist those businesses.