Gov. DeSantis announces he will pardon anyone charged for defying mask and social distancing mandates

Ron DeSantis by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) delivered some welcome news to a Florida couple facing jail time for violating the county's COVID mandates, telling them on Fox News Wednesday night that he would be pardoning them — and any other Floridian charged for defying COVID rules like masking and social distancing.

DeSantis lifted most of his state's COVID restrictions back in September. Included in that move was permission for all gyms to reopen at full capacity and a proscription on new restrictions from local governments that would close businesses.

But Broward County decided to implement its own COVID restrictions on mask-wearing and social distancing for businesses, which was a problem for Mike and Jillian Carnevale, the former owners of Fitness 1440 in Plantation, Florida.

Mike Carnevale was arrested multiple times by Broward officials for violating COVID mask mandates, WFOR-TV reported. One of those incidents occurred in August when he set up his gym equipment in his business' parking lot and refused to ask members to wear masks, according to WTVJ-TV.

Ron DeSantis by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0