Miami Bars and Nightclubs Might Not Reopen Until a COVID-19 Vaccine is Available
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Update: On September 10, Halsey Beshears, Florida’s Minister of Economics and Professional Law, announced that 50 percent capacity bars could be reopened statewide provided they practice social distancing and all other statewide COVID-19 guidelines. However, Miami Dade bars will remain closed. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez tweeted on the news: “Although the state of Florida plans to allow bars to reopen, Miami Dade County’s bars will remain closed until further notice. Our county continues to monitor this development . ” Situation of how it works to contain COVID-19 cases. “The bars in Palm Beach and Broward Counties will also be closed at this time.
It’s been a while since Miami-Dade residents buzzed at their favorite neighborhood bar or danced to a stranger in a club.
The recent decline in positive COVID-19 cases and hospital stays has led Miami-Dade County’s Mayor Carlos A. Giménez to ease some pandemic restrictions, indoor dining in restaurants and the start of the nightly curfew that some people have didn’t know to extend an hour we had. But a return to damp, hazy nights is not on the table.
During a virtual press conference yesterday, Giménez said bars and nightclubs in the county are unlikely to reopen until an effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus is available. The Miami Herald reports that the mayor said the same thing during an interview on Tuesday on WIOD-AM (610) radio station.
“Bars and nightclubs that have activity there are not conducive to maintaining a six-foot separation,” Giménez reportedly said. “You won’t be two meters in a bar. You definitely won’t be two meters in a nightclub. These venues are really difficult. I don’t see us opening bars and nightclubs here for the foreseeable future.”
In late June, Halsey Beshears, secretary of the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, issued a state-wide final call banning local drinking in bars in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases across the state.
In Miami-Dade County, Federal CARES Act money is earmarked for employees of independent restaurants, bars, and caterers, but nightclubs are not eligible for these funds.
Dr. Aileen Marty, a public health expert and professor of infectious diseases at Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, said at yesterday’s news conference that data from other countries shows that bars and clubs have been “locations of large, large clusters for COVID.” -19. “
Countries like South Korea, France, and Italy have reported clusters that usually start the same way: a person tests positive for COVID-19 days after visiting a bar or nightclub and is connected to dozens of other infected people through contact tracing.
Sixteen friends celebrating their birthdays in a crowded Jacksonville bar in mid-June – when Florida watering holes reopened everywhere next to Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties – tested positive for COVID-19, as did seven employees who who worked on the day of celebration.
Adam Gersten, owner of Wynwood Bar Gramps, closed the business in March, reopened it in April, and closed it again in June. He says that while Gramps would function as a restaurant, he is still not interested in reopening it – for reasons of safety and financial viability.
“We are closed by choice and open by choice,” and only if the company can hold its own with limited capacity and other restrictions, says Gersten. Nevertheless, he is looking forward to the day when he can greet customers again.
Becks Lange, an events producer who organizes the annual Rakastella music festival and label parties for Miami Music Week, said the mayor’s announcement came as no surprise. “Unfortunately, our chances were used when illegal parties took place on our faces from May to July and were even promoted,” wrote Lange in an email to the New Times.
Lange adds that she’s not sure if Miami is ready to obey the rules even if nightlife is allowed to reopen.
“What we need is to unite once and for all as a scene and speak to our local governments and work out safe reopening plans to present to the authorities, as restaurants have done, just as Europe has done has, “said she writes.
While social distancing and mask wearing issues can arise in bars and nightclubs, strip clubs in Giménez ‘Miami-Dade are a different matter.
After the mayor ordered widespread business closings in March, the adult entertainment venues presented safety plans and began reopening in June.
Although the mayor did not provide a timeframe for the reopening and said he would need to have talks with medical experts, strip clubs could potentially open earlier than bars and clubs due to different business practices.
Miami-Dade’s deputy mayor, Jennifer Moon, explained that customers in strip clubs have to sit at tables and that the performers are aloof from the clientele.
“It’s not the same as going to a nightclub,” said Moon.
At the press conference, Giménez also announced that from Monday, September 14, the night curfew will begin an hour later from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Gimenez said open-air attractions like Miami Zoo and Jungle Island will reopen on Monday, and some teams’ sports would resume in county parks. (Fans attending the Alabama-Birmingham home game at the University of Miami tonight are exempt as long as they show their ticket if they are run over.)
Giménez said Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Infectious disease expert Deborah Birx, key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, recommended waiting until Monday to relax some of these restrictions to mark a full two weeks from the mayor’s approval of indoor dining. The mayor added that staff and medical experts will need to analyze data two weeks after Labor Day weekend before the county further relaxes restrictions to look for possible spikes in COVID cases and hospitalizations that usually occur after the vacation.
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Alexi C. Cardona is an employee at Miami New Times. A native of Hialeah, she is happy to be home writing about Miami’s weirdness after working for the Naples Daily News for four years.