Posted by: Apr 02, 2020

Most of the activities provided by Florida’s alcoholic beverage industry are “essential services” under the governor’s “Safe at Home” order.

Executive Order No. 20-91: Safer at Home

On April 1, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order No. 20-91, which imposes a statewide 30-day partial shelter-in-place order beginning April 3, 2020. The “Safer at Home” order requires individuals with significant underlying medical conditions to stay at home and requires every person in Florida to limit movements outside of their home to “only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.” The governor’s order supersedes all local government shelter-in-place or similar orders (such as those issued in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Orange Counties).

The statewide “Safer at Home” order requires all business owners and managers to ask the question: Does this business provide an “essential service”?

What are Essential Services?

“Essential services” are defined by the Florida “Safer at Home” order by reference to three sources: (1) the US Department of Homeland Securities Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce v.2 (March 28, 2020) (DHS Guidance), (2) the list of essential services contained in Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 07-20 (Miami-Dade Order), and (3) essential services that may be added by the State Coordinating Officer via www.floridadisaster.org.

The list of essential services which may be continued under the Safer at Home” order includes most of the services provided by Florida’s alcoholic beverage industry members.

Beverage Manufacturing is an Essential Service

The manufacturing and sale of beer, wine, liquor and other alcoholic beverages is reflected on the “Safer at Home” lists of essential services. The DHS Guidance, under the heading Food and Agriculture, includes:

Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees–to include those employed in food ingredient production and processing facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughtering facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging.

US Department of Homeland Securities Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce v.2 (March 28, 2020) (emphasis added)

The Miami-Dade Order also seems to include alcoholic beverage manufacturing:

Factories, manufacturing facilities, bottling plans, and other industrial uses.

Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 07-20.

Beverage Distribution is an Essential Service

Distributing alcoholic beverages is also included on the lists of essential services.

Employees and firms supporting the distribution of food, feed, and beverage and ingredients used in these products, including warehouse workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers and blockchain managers.

US Department of Homeland Securities Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce v.2 (March 28, 2020) (emphasis added)

Logistics providers, including warehouses, trucking, consolidators, fumigators, and handlers.

Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 07-20.

Beverage Retail Sales are Essential Services

The retail sale of alcoholic beverages is reflected on the DHS Guidance’s list of essential services.

Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores, and other retail (including unattended and vending) that sells human food, animal/pet food and pet supplies, and beverage products, including retail customer support service and information technology support staff necessary for online orders, pickup and delivery.

US Department of Homeland Securities Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce v.2 (March 28, 2020) (emphasis added)

Executive Order 20-71 still applies to retail sales of alcoholic beverages. That order suspends sales of alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises, and temporary authorizes restaurants to make to-go sales of alcoholic beverages (in sealed containers) with food sales.

Provide Essential Services Safely

While allowing businesses and individuals to continue to obtain or provide essential services, the “Safe at Home” Order includes a number of caveats.

Individuals are required to limit movement and personal interaction outside of their home only to the extend necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.

Individuals are encouraged to work from home.

Business are encouraged to provide delivery, carry-out or curbside services and take orders online or via telephone the the greatest extent practicable.

Social gatherings in a public space are not essential activities.

Do you have questions about your compliance with Florida’s “Safe at Home” Order? Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a consultation.

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