Florida deems pro wrestling's WWE 'essential business' amid COVID-19 outbreak
Company allowed to tape live shows if location is closed to general public
World Wrestling Entertainment has been deemed an "essential business" in Florida, the mayor of Orange County said on Monday, allowing the company to resume live tapings of its shows in the state during the coronavirus outbreak.
A statewide stay-at-home order went into effect earlier this month in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19, and while WWE was not initially viewed as essential like grocery stores and pharmacies it has since been given the green light.
"I think initially there was a review that was done and they were not initially deemed an essential business," Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings told reporters.
"With some conversation with the governor's office regarding the governor's order, they were deemed an essential business and so therefore they were allowed to remain open."
The decision, which was outlined in an April 9 memo from Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, allows WWE to tape live shows if the location is closed to the general public.
WWE, which had been airing pre-taped shows in recent weeks, said in a statement to ESPN the health and safety of talent and staff is its top priority.
"We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times," said WWE.
"We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff."