Gym owners flex their muscles: Miami-Dade reverses decision to close facilities

Masks will be required indoors at all times

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez (Credit: Jason Koerner/Getty Images)
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez (Credit: Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will allow gyms and fitness centers to stay open after announcing Monday that they would be closed, beginning on Wednesday.

After meeting with a wellness group, the county decided that gyms and fitness facilities can remain open with the current restrictions in place, according to a spokesperson for the mayor’s office. Masks will now be required indoors at all times, and outdoor workouts will be required to be spaced 10 feet apart.

In Miami-Dade, gyms and fitness centers were allowed to reopen June 8.

The reversal comes as Gimenez also decided to allow restaurants to operate outdoor dining, if possible, after first saying he would close all dining rooms. The change came after he spoke with restaurateurs, who rallied against the planned order.

Many business owners who say they are in compliance with the rules argue that entire industries shouldn’t be punished for specific businesses that are not following the guidelines. Enforcement has been an issue in some municipalities, restaurateurs say.

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The mayor has not yet officially released his order, which will go into effect on Wednesday. State and local officials have started rolling back openings due to the record number of positive Covid-19 cases.

As of Tuesday, Florida reported nearly 214,000 cases of Covid-19 statewide, including 51,058 in Miami-Dade, according to the Florida Department of Health.

On Monday, Gimenez said he was 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 state previously ordered all bars closed.

The phased reopening began in Miami-Dade on May 18, with some cities waiting even longer to allow some businesses to begin operating again.