Last month, in a move which seems both wildly irresponsible and perfectly on-brand for the state of Florida, city commissioners in Daytona Beach voted to allow the city’s annual Bike Week to proceed — almost — as planned. While there will be some restrictions in place, businesses who have not applied for outdoor permits will be free to operate at 100 percent capacity. Businesses which have outdoor permits will be able to operate at 60 percent interior capacity.
The new limits are essentially a workaround, as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order barring local jurisdictions from instituting any restrictions on the occupancy of restaurants or bars. As Mayor Derrick Henry wrote in a recent editorial for the Daytona Beach News Journal, the outdoor permits were the “only leverage available to the city.”
So, while the bars will be slightly less full than normal, there will still be plenty of concerts, street vendors, and booze-fueled partying happening for a 10-day period in March.
Right now, we cannot know exactly how many people will make the trip down to the Sunshine State for the 80th anniversary of Daytona Bike Week. But the event generally attracts about 500,000 people, which is not all that far off from another number.
Dayton has taken the same approach as Sturgis did in August, which is to continue with their events and take all the necessary precautions. Social distancing will be suggested, but not enforced, hand sanitizers and masks may become the new normal.
Even with the economy at its current level, the fact that Daytona Bike Week is not being cancelled is a blessing and gives riders desperately searching for a warm rally destination a place to GO!
Florida currently has no mandatory mask mandate and restaurants, and schools are open at 100%. However, local municipalities may have their own mandates, so we would suggest that you always keep your mask readily available and continue to practice social responsibility.
Most importantly….HAVE FUN and JUST RIDE!