Wrestling broadcaster WWE has been classed as an “essential business” by the state of Florida.
Jared Moskowitz, the director for the state’s emergency management team, has signed an executive order allowing the organisation to continue running during the coronavirus pandemic.
The news was clarified today by Florida’s Orange County mayor Jerry Demings during a news conference.
Clarification: the State has deemed @WWE an essential business, not the County. @GovRonDeSantis’ Executive Order supersedes Orange County’s Executive Order initially in place. Any questions should be directed to the State. More info: https://t.co/6wcr6UacP1. pic.twitter.com/B1YRmNHMXW
— Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings (@OCFLMayor) April 14, 2020
He said WWE was originally not classified as essential but the decision was later reversed after several meetings.
“With some conversation with the governor’s office regarding the governor’s order, they were deemed an essential business. So, therefore, they were allowed to remain open,” Mr Demings said, according to WESH-TV.
He later published a link to an executive order signed by Mr Moskowitz last week, clarifying that the order came from the officer of Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, not Mr Demings.
The order states workers that are now essential include: theme park, zoo and aquarium workers who look after machines, plants or animals inside the parks; employees who work in mental health and domestic violence programmes; employees at professional sports and media companies with a national audience, including athletes, entertainers and production teams.
Parks and sports events must remain closed to the public as part of the COVID-19 lockdown, it added.
Earlier in April, WWE held their annual WrestleMania event inside an empty facility in Florida, despite the state’s restrictions.
The U-turn follows Disney World’s decision to furlough 43,000 workers during the COVID-19 crisis after reaching a deal with its union.
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The US currently has the highest number of cases of the illness, with the latest statistics showing there are nearly 600,000 cases in the states.
Nearly 25,000 have died in the US after contracting COVID-19.