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Nightly Curfew and Decreased Capacities Mandated for South Florida Restaurants and Bars

Amid growing novel coronavirus concerns

Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

The City of Miami Beach, City of Miami, Miami Dade County, and Fort Lauderdale all announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in their respective cities due to the novel coronarius pandemic, all which go into effect on March 16.

In Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, non-essential businesses (i.e. restaurants and bars) citywide will be required to close daily by 10 p.m. until further notice. The cities are also urging restaurants, bars, and nightclubs to decrease their capacity by 50 percent to create social distancing.

Miami Dade County and the City of Miami have also ordered non-essential business to close by 11 p.m. and to reduce occupancy loads also by 50 percent. Businesses with an existing occupancy of 500 persons or more are now capped at 250 persons maximum.

Places like hotels, grocery stores, and convenience stores are exempt from the rule. Schools in Miami-Dade County have closed early for spring break, however, they are offering hot meals for breakfast and lunch for students who usually depends on those meals. They will be available 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every weekday for pick up. Un Broward, nine schools will offer breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Another concern is an uptick in traffic due to spring break, where both Miami and Fort Lauderdale are popular destinations.

“Our measures are intended to send a clear message that Spring Break is cancelled and that everyone, even young people home from school, need to embrace these health and safety concerns,” says Miami Beach mayor Dan Gelber said in a press release. “We are proud of our hospitality industry, and concerned with the toll it will have on our businesses and workers but we cannot elevate those concerns above very real health risks.”

At press time, at least 13 cases have been diagnosed in Miami-Dade County and 36 cases in Broward, with 136 Florida residents in total being diagnosed.