Florida's DeSantis has 'grim reaper' threat for businesses defying coronavirus restrictions

The governor outlined a zero-tolerance policy for bars and restaurants that do not comply with social distancing guidelines

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a stark warning on Tuesday to businesses that defy the state’s coronavirus-related guidelines as confirmed cases have risen throughout recent weeks.

During a news conference in Orlando, DeSantis threatened to revoke business licenses from bars and restaurants that operate in violation of social distancing guidelines. Restaurants and pubs have been able to operate at 50 percent indoor capacity with appropriate social distancing, but DeSantis said some establishments have been hosting “big parties.”

“If you go in and it’s just mayhem, like ‘Dance Party USA’ and it’s packed to the rafters, that’s just cut-and-dry and that’s not just an innocent mistake,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis said there would be “no tolerance” for that type of activity and he has told officials to “just suspend the license,” giving Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears the nickname “the grim reaper” for business licenses.

PARTS OF FLORIDA SEEING PEOPLE UNDER 35 TESTING POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS AT HIGHER RATE

On Monday, state officials suspended a liquor license for a pub near the University of Central Florida, where dozens of customers and employees are said to have fallen sick.

The governor said the majority of recent positive tests in some areas are coming from the 25- to 34-year-old age group.

The number of confirmed cases in the state topped 101,300 on Tuesday, while the death toll exceeded 3,230, according to data from the state.

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The Sunshine State joins just a handful of other states, including New York, Texas and New Jersey, as it passed the unfortunate 100,000-case milestone.

Meanwhile, as confirmed cases continued to rise in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott urged residents to stay at home on Tuesday to fight the outbreak.