TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida restaurants would be able to sell alcohol for take out and delivery under a bill approved by a Senate committee Tuesday that would make permanent a suspension of rules the governor allowed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order last year allowing alcohol to go to help restaurants that were losing business as people stayed home and capacity restrictions were enforced. While DeSantis has since lifted capacity limits, he has expressed support for allowing the businesses to continue take out and delivery of cocktails, wine and beer.

The Senate Regulated Industries Committee unanimously approved Republican Sen. Jennifer Bradley’s bill.

“COVID-19 has created a tremendous stress on the restaurant industry,” Bradley said. “The current executive order has been a lifeline. It has helped restaurants accomplish a goal of being successful while also providing a convenience for consumers.”

The bill would limit alcohol to go to restaurants whose sales are at least 51 percent food. Containers would have to be sealed and placed in a locked compartment or the backseat of a vehicle out of a drivers reach.

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