Yesterday, after Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced in a press release that he’d be closing all restaurants for in-person dining due to an increase in coronavirus cases, he walked back that statement saying restaurants can stay open for outdoor dining only for groups no larger than four people starting Thursday, July 9.
UPDATE: The new emergency order I will be signing to close indoor dining at restaurants will allow outdoor dining when possible. I encourage all cities to work with operators to help expand outdoor seating when possible. Takeout & delivery can continue. https://t.co/tVR0OYDQGv— Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez (@MayorGimenez) July 7, 2020
In the updated announcement he said, “After discussions with our esteemed medical experts, the members of the Miami-Dade County League of Cities, and the restaurant industry group, I have determined that my forthcoming emergency order will allow for outdoor dining, where possible, to continue, with restrictions that include tables of no more than four patrons, appropriate distancing, and music played at a level that does not require shouting, to prevent the emission of potentially dangerous airborne droplets.”
Restaurants can also offer takeout and delivery, but indoor dining rooms must close. The order also issued the closing of ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues, gyms, and short-term rentals will also be closed. As of now, the beaches can stay open along with retail, office buildings, salons, and various outdoor activities like summer camps.
This order comes after a record-breaking number of novel coronavirus cases were reported over the weekend, with several hospitals in the state reporting that their hospitals intensive care units were at capacity.
Over the past week, Gimenez had been issuing a variety of stricter guidelines, especially aimed at restaurants, including curfews and increased face mask requirements. In this latest order, Gimenez blamed the surge of coronavirus cases mainly on those ages 18-34, saying that people in this age group were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing measures and adding that “gatherings at restaurants that turned into packed parties in violation of the rules.”
Miami-Dade County restaurants were allowed to reopen for both indoor and outdoor dining on May 18 after being closed for nearly two months with the coronavirus pandemic first began.
UPDATE (7/7/20 at 7:49 a.m.): This article has been updated to reflect the change in the executive order issued by Gimenez.
UPDATE (7/8/20 at 9:00 a.m.) This article has been updated to reflect the indoor dining ban date. Originally it was announced to begin on Wednesday, July 8 but it was changed to Thursday, July 9 by the Mayor’s office.