Restaurants, gyms to close again in Miami-Dade

Office buildings, retail stores, and grooming services can stay open “for now”

Photo illustration of Mayor Carlos Gimenez (Getty, iStock)
Photo illustration of Mayor Carlos Gimenez (Getty, iStock)

UPDATED, July 7, 8:20 a.m.: Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is ordering restaurants to close their dining rooms effective Wednesday, marking a major blow to the struggling industry. Gyms, fitness centers and short-term rentals will also shut down.

State and local officials have started rolling back openings due to the record number of positive Covid-19 cases. As of Monday, more than 206,000 people had tested positive for the virus in Florida. Nearly 49,000 of those cases were reported in Miami-Dade, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Last week, Gimenez enacted a countywide curfew beginning at 10 p.m. and ending at 6 a.m. and closed the beaches over the Fourth of July weekend. The curfew will remain in place.

The beaches are expected to reopen on Tuesday, but Gimenez said he will close them again if there’s crowding and people are not following public health rules, according to a press release.

The state also previously ordered all bars closed.

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Restaurants, which were operating their dining rooms at reduced capacities, will only be able to offer outdoor dining, takeout and delivery. In a later announcement, Gimenez said that after speaking with restaurateurs, he would allow outdoor dining, where possible, limited to four people per table, and social distancing.

Gimenez’s emergency order will also cover ballrooms, banquet facilities and party venues.

“We want to ensure that our hospitals continue to have the staffing necessary to save lives,” Gimenez said in the release. Nearly 3,800 people have died in Florida from Covid-19.

The mayor said he is planning to keep outdoor activities, including condo and hotel pools, summer camps and child daycare centers open with social distancing, mask rules and capacity limits in effect. Office buildings, retail stores, and grooming services such as salons and barbershops can stay open “for now.”

The phased reopening began in Miami-Dade County on May 18, with some cities waiting even longer to allow some businesses to begin operating again. In Miami-Dade, gyms weren’t able to reopen until June 8. Hotels and beaches reopened June 1.