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Miami Beach Announces First Phase of Reopening Plan — Which Includes Restaurants

Social distancing, outdoor dining, and face masks for employees

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

This morning Miami Beach’s Finance and Economic Committee presented its plan to the City of Miami Beach on how to reopen the city. The plan would debut in phases, with phase one including the reopening of restaurants.

According to the plan, there will need to be 14 days of continued decreases in COVID-19 cases in the City of Miami Beach in order to trigger the reopening. Right now, there isn’t isn’t an exact target reopening date, but commissioners mentioned that mid to late-May is currently the timeline they are working with — if infection and hospital numbers continue to decline.

Slide from the City of Miami Beach’s presentation

For phase one, restaurants would need to maintain no more than 50 percent capacity, with six feet between tables. Restaurants would begin by reopening their outdoor seating, with bar seating being closed. The plan requires employees to work staggered shifts and continue to wear face masks for safety, and when possible, suggests creating special hours for diners who are at risk of contacting the virus. Bars and nightclubs are not included in phase one of this plan, neither are hotels or beaches. If all goes well, phase two — including relaxing social distancing measures and increasing restaurant capacity as well as opening bars but not clubs — would go into effect in June.

However, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales did point out that Miami Beach falls under the Miami-Dade County orders, which are expected to be announced sometime in the next few days, so City of Miami Beach would need to make sure it stays in line with the county’s laws and the region’s general reopening approach.

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