UPDATED, May 22, 4:43 p.m.: Hotels and beaches in Miami Beach and throughout Miami-Dade County could open June 1.
The Miami Beach City Commission voted unanimously on Friday morning to allow hotels and beaches to reopen next month. Shortly after the vote, the county announced it would target June 1 as the reopening date in coastal municipalities countywide.
A group of coastal mayors and city managers in Miami-Dade met virtually on Friday and plan to meet again on Tuesday to go over the proposed plan. They were from North Bay Village, North Miami Beach, Aventura, Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Golden Beach, Key Biscayne, Bay Harbor Islands, Surfside, Sunny Isles Beach, according to a county spokesperson.
Miami-Dade entered Florida’s first phase of reopening on Monday, but Miami Beach, Miami and Hialeah waited until Wednesday to begin allowing non-essential businesses to reopen. Restaurant dining rooms in those three cities will be able to reopen May 27.
Hotels in Miami-Dade, with the exception of essential lodgers, were ordered to close March 23.
The county’s guide to reopening hotels includes increased cleaning protocols in the rooms, common areas and check-in desks. Hotel employees will be required to undergo training to comply with the new regulations. Guests will be required to only congregate with people from the same household, and both guests and workers will also have to wear masks in all common areas. Like in other businesses, elevators will allow fewer people, and valet will not be an option where onsite parking is available.
Many hotels in South Florida have laid off or furloughed all or the majority of their employees since the county ordered hotels to close.
Hotel owners in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have $4.2 billion in commercial mortgage-backed securities debt, based on an analysis by data provider Trepp. Hotels such as the Fontainebleau Miami Beach have entered special servicing, presenting new challenges for property owners.
Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales said he would recommend that beaches open with social distancing guidelines in place and would allow concessions to operate. Beachgoers would not be required to wear masks, but would not be able to congregate in large groups.
The Florida Keys will reopen to visitors on June 1, allowing hotels and vacation rentals to operate at 50 percent capacity.