Miami Restaurants Ordered to Close Dining Rooms After Coronavirus Cases Spike
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Update released on July 20: The Miami Beach city administrator has imposed a curfew on the two main commercial and entertainment areas in South Beach until July 24, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
The curfew applies to businesses located in the mixed-use entertainment district (MXE District) between Fifth Street and Sixteenth Street and the medium-intensity commercial district (CD2 District) between Pennsylvania Avenue and Collins Court from Fifth Street to Sixteenth Street, except for the portion of Espanola Way between Washington Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue).
All shops in these zones must close by 8 p.m. every day. Gastronomy businesses may continue to operate from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., but only for the purpose of providing delivery services. Take-away, pick-up and pick-up on the roadside is expressly prohibited during these times, as is live entertainment and music that exceeds the volume of normal conversations.
In addition, the contract closes the entire Ocean Drive from Fifth Street to Fifteenth Street for all vehicle traffic until further notice.
Update released on July 8th: An emergency warrant signed today by Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry will close any Broward restaurant that violates the county’s mandatory social distancing and masking regime for 24 hours for an initial violation. Subsequent violations will close restaurants for 72 hours for each violation. reThe restaurants must also limit the number of participants to a maximum of six people per table (unless they all come from the same household, in which case 10 people are allowed per table) and close their dining rooms between 10 pm and 5 am daily. Take-out, delivery and transit services are permitted after 10:00 p.m.
Update released July 8th: Carlos A. Gimenez, Mayor of Miami-Dade, will close the indoor restaurant on Thursday, July 9th at 12:01 am. An earlier version of this story contained the mayor’s intention to close the dining rooms in the restaurant on July 8th.
According to the regulation “on-site dining in restaurants and cafeterias is only limited to outdoor service between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. per day. Such establishments may operate their kitchens between 10 p.m. and 6 p.m. the next morning only for the purpose of providing Delivery, collection, room service or take-out service. “
The contract also increases the requirements for face masks in gyms and fitness centers, and limits the short-term rentals (e.g. Airbnb agreements) allowed, presumably to combat house parties.
Update released July 7th: Late last night, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez updated his order earlier in the day when all restaurants in the Miami area would be closed to all but takeaway and delivery.
The update makes it possible to “eat outside where possible, with restrictions that include tables of no more than four guests, adequate distancing, and music played at a level that does not require shouting, to avoid the emission.” to prevent potentially dangerous airborne droplets. “”
In addition, fitness studios can now remain open. An earlier version of this story contained the mayor’s stated intention to close gyms in Miami-Dade.
Current information on the district’s coronavirus regulations can be found at miamidade.gov/coronavirus.
The original story of July 6th follows:
Just weeks after Miami restaurants were given permission to open their dining rooms, they were ordered to close again.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez tweeted that he would sign an emergency decree “closing all restaurants (with the exception of take-out and delivery services), ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues and short-term rentals”.
The order takes effect on Thursday, July 9th.
In a press release posted on the county’s website today, Gimenez says the order will allow outdoor activities (including condominium and hotel pools) as well as office buildings, retail stores, and grooming services to remain open.
The beaches of Miami-Dade remain open – but with the threat of closure.
“If we see crowds and people who disobey public health regulations, I will be forced to close the beaches again,” warned the mayor.
With the percentage of COVID-19 positive cases growing and the number of hospital stays in Miami-Dade County increasing, I’m rolling back store openings further. This applies to restaurants (other than takeaway and delivery services), gyms and more: https://t.co/6fcqiYn1Qw @MiamiDadeEM
– Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez (@MayorGimenez) July 6, 2020
The nationwide curfew from 10 a.m. to 6 a.m., ordered by Gimenez on July 3, remains in effect.
The new orders are in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases across the state. According to the Florida Department of Health, Miami-Dade has recorded nearly 50,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths. Citing a surge in 18- to 34-year-old cases that began in mid-June, Gimenez added that factors included “graduation ceremonies,” restaurant gatherings that turned into crowded parties in violation of the rules, and street protests where people couldn’t maintain social distance and where not everyone wore face coverings. “
The mayor urged everyone to stay home and abide by the nationwide obligation to wear face masks in public places and to be at least three feet away from others. “I am counting on you, our 2.8 million inhabitants, to stop the spread so that we can reopen our economy.”
He also offered a hotline to report violations: 305-4-POLICE.
Last week, Gimenez reversed the reopening plan he initiated on May 18. On June 29th, he banned the local alcohol service after midnight. Two days later, he ordered restaurants with more than eight people to shut down between 12:01 and 6:00 a.m. Then came the July 2 face mask order, which made it clear to Gimenez that diners who dine in restaurants must wear their masks unless they are eating or drinking. The following day, the mayor closed cinemas, concert halls, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, indoor amusement facilities and casinos (except casinos on sovereign tribal land). He also explained the nightly curfew at 10 p.m.
Even before Gimenez placed orders, several Miami restaurants voluntarily closed their dining rooms.
Last week, when Cafe La Trova temporarily closed its doors, partner David Martinez cited guest health and safety as a deciding factor. “I want to make it clear that no one was sick at the restaurant, but COVID-19 cases in Miami are still on the rise,” Martinez told the New Times. And despite all the protocols in place, we felt that by staying open, we put our employees and customers at greater risk. “
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Laine Doss is the food and liquor editor for the Miami New Times. It was featured on Eat Street by Cooking Channel and in the Great Food Truck Race by Food Network. She won an Alternative Weekly Award for her contribution on what it’s like to wait for tables.