Schools, bars, clothing stores and most office buildings are closed. TV presenters broadcast from home and other entertainment sources such as theater have been stuttered. However, wrestling appears to have survived the coronavirus lock.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) will continue to operate in Florida – officials announced despite the state’s social distancing guidelines and the order to stay at home.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Monday that WWE was originally considered a non-essential business, but Governor Ron DeSantis’ office decided to change this. “In some talks with the governor’s office about the governor’s order, they were seen as an essential business,” Demings said during a press conference. “And so they were allowed to stay open.”
CBS News has contacted the DeSantis office for more information on this decision. WWE bands in Orlando, part of Orange County.
The WWE has broadcast pre-recorded programs in the past few weeks, including WrestleMania 36, reports CBS Sports. However, “Monday Night Raw” is now broadcast live from the WWE training facility in Orlando, Florida. Other WWE events will also be broadcast live from Orlando, including SmackDown on Friday.
According to CBS Sports, the games will be played without fans present. However, social distancing will be difficult to do if wrestlers are asked to physically touch each other in the ring.
In a statement to CBS News, WWE said, “We believe it is more important than ever to offer people a distraction from these difficult times.”
“We produce content on a closed set in which only the necessary personnel participate in accordance with the relevant guidelines and take additional precautionary measures to ensure the health and well-being of our performers and employees,” it continues. “As a brand woven into the fabric of society, WWE and its superstars bring families together and convey a sense of hope, determination, and perseverance.”
In an email to CBS News, Governor DeSantis’ office announced that key executive regulation services include professional sports and media production employees with a national audience only if the site is closed to the general public. WWE would fall under this category as the upcoming games will be closed to the public.
The implementing regulation also includes employees of services and programs that deal with mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence and other urgent advice, provided that these services are offered within the framework of guidelines on social distancing. Employees of the theme park and entertainment complexes, zoological parks and facilities, and aquarium facilities, all of which are closed to the general public, are also essential, the governor’s office said.
The governor’s office said that theme parks, zoos and aquariums, as well as sports and media production “were added [to the essentials list] because they’re critical to Florida’s economy. It is important to note that professional sporting activities can only be considered essential if the venue is closed to the general public. “
As in most states, Florida is at home until April 30th. DeSantisPressure from health care workers and local officials increased and the number of confirmed cases in Florida increased.
President Trump said he would leave it up to the states to decide whether to issue their own home stay orders. “The governors know what they’re doing,” Trump said on Friday.