Ron DeSantis
© AP/Tampa Bay Times/John Pendygraft
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday morning that Florida is moving into full Phase 3 of its reopening.

The order specifically lifts COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants.

Restaurants can now operate at a minimum of 50% capacity -- meaning they are fully open. Gov. DeSantis says if local governments try to restrict the reopening of any restaurant, they need state's approval.

Phase 3 also states that bars, pubs and nightclubs that derive more than 50 percent of sales from alcohol should operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols.

Since the state's number of cases peaked in July, the number of new infections have steadily declined.

The outbreak prompted the governor to close bars and nightclubs, and restricted restaurants to take-out dining for months.

The closures battered the economy, leaving hundreds of thousands of Floridians unemployed.

DeSantis has slowly reopened the state for business since then, allowing restaurants and bars to reopen at half capacity, even as the pandemic continues to spread.

Florida added 2,847 confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, pushing the statewide total since March 1 to 695,887. The state also announced 120 new virus deaths, pushing its total to 14,038. Hospitalizations declined by 34 to 2,137 people.

With the Associated Press.